Indmedica Home | About Indmedica | Medical Jobs | Advertise On Indmedica
Search Indmedica Web
Indmedica - India's premier medical portal

Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Use of Medical Library by Medical Students and Teachers in Medical Colleges of Kolkata

Author(s): C Chatterjee, G K Joardar, K Bhattacharrya, S Nandy, R N Misra

Vol. 31, No. 3 (2006-07 - 2006-09)

C Chatterjee1, G K Joardar1, K Bhattacharrya2, S Nandy3, R N Misra3


Though fornmal education draws more attention, education in its real sense, starts through informal self learning after the It has also been observed that teachers in medical students rely mostly oil text books and traditional didactic lectures. It has also been observed that teachers in medical education are often criticised for lack of dcsireu Information in their presentation to meet the actual needs of students3. Hence it may he presumed that medical students may not possibly learn all vvl);It they must learn during their formal training in order to develop professional competence As medical science is a continually advancing discipline, the use of medical library hoth by students and teachers is a very important mean for enhancing knowledge and llpdallm, with the recent advances through self-directed education. In this back ground the present study was conducted among the internees (who have just passed the MBBS course) and among medical teachers.

Materials and Method

The present study vas undertaken among 108 internees who just passed the undergraduate medical curriculum, and 107 medical Leacilers attached to various cjepartmcnts in two medical colleges in Kolkata during the period from October to November, 2002.

Almost equal number of students (approximately 150) are admitted every year in each of’ tile medical college in Kolkata. After obtaining permission from the 1-lead ofthe Institutions, data collection was done on pre-designed and pre-tested Self Responding Questionnaires (S.R.Q.) on frequency of library visit, reasons for.visit, materials consulted and opinions about facilities available in libraries their own institutions. The data thus collected were analysed by standard statiair. al jmethods.


Among the study subjects 80.6% of students and 67.3% of teachers were using libraries of their own institutions; whereas, 2.7% students and 5.6% of teachers were using libraries outside their own institutions: 13.0% students and 24.3% teachers were using libraries both of their own institutions as well as outside their institutions; 3.7% of students and 2.8% of teachers were not using any library.

The majority of the students (96.3%) were using library, but with wide variations an frequency; only 46.3% visited daily and another 2.1% once a week. Among the teachers, only 16.8% used the library daily and another 34.6% once a week.

Among the library users, 99.1% of students and 93.3% of teachers were visiting library for consulting text books. As far as journal was concerned, it was consulted by 52.9% of teachers compared to only 8.6% of the students. Only 3.8% of both students and teachers used on-line MEDLARS or AV- aids.

Among the students, the majority (61.5%) were visiting library for preparation of examination, whereas, 14.4% for seminars, 11.5% for manuscripts/ dissertation/ project reports and 9.6% for not having personal books. Amongst the teachers the majority (72.1%) were visiting library for preparation of lectures or seminars, whereas, 42.3% for not having personal books and 38.5% for preparation of manuscripts/dissertation/ project reports. As many as 38.5% of teachers were using library for the fact that they were not subscribing to many journals; 29.8% for preparation of examination, and 21.1% for interview.

Table I: Opinion of Library Users About Facilities Available in the Library

Students (n=104) Teachers(n=104)
No (%) No (%)
Library- location: difficult to access 35 (32.4) 40 (37.4)
Books not easy to find out SS (52.9) 55 (52.9)
Journals not well displayed 79 (76.0) 89 (85.6)
Number of books inadequate 82 (78.8) 83 (79.5)
Number of journals inadequate 75 (72.1) 86 (8?.7)
Sitting arrangement inadequate 61 (s8.6) 60 (57.7)
Light inadequate 29 (27.9) 27 (25.9)
Staff cooperation inadequate 35 (33.6) 2$ (26.9)
Inadequate drinking water facility -42 (40.4) 47 (45.2)
Inadequate toilet facility 51 (49.1) 56 (53.8)
A-V methods/ MEDLARS not
available in own institution
104 (100.0) 104 (100.0)

Table I: shows the opinion of library users about facilities available.


The role of well equipped medical libraries in order to meet the needs of the medical students and teachers can not be over emphasised. The observation in the present study more or corroborates with the findings of other study4.

Consultation of journals by students was found to be only 1.5% in the study in Maulana Azad Medical College. N. Delhi4. In today’s world of information, modern facilities like, MEDLARS. AV methods have immense role in enhancing and updating knowledge. These facilities should be available to attract the students and faculty members6,7.

The present study observed lesser students go to library for examination prepartion is comparation to other study5. This difference might be due no difference in the groups of students studied-having or not having an examination at that time or the time of study before/during an examination or not.

As reported by Fafard and Shell R, the present study also observed that majority of the students and teachers (about three quarters) opined about inadequacy of text books and journals. According to Samuel and Amalraj5, 70% of the students stated that available books and journals were insufficient.

Regarding consultation of text books in library, the finding of the present study (99.1% students consulting text books) corroborates with the findings of Samuel and Amalraj. The location of the library is an important factor that can influence its use. It has to be located in such a place that everyone can access it easily. But the present study observed that to about one third of both students and teachers the location was difficult to access.

To many of the library users, ranging from one third to three quarter, in tile present study, physical facilities like toilet, drinking water, lighting condition, sitting accomodation and help or cooperation of the library staff were inadequate5. The inadequacy of learning materials. non availability of modern facilities, dissatisfaction with physical amenities and problem of accessibility might have negative influence on the students and teachers in using the libraries1. Improvement of all these factors may attract them for enhanced utilisation of libraries.


  1. Mittal R.L. Library Administration theory and practice, 6th Edition; Metxopoliton Book Co. (Pvt.) Ltd., New Delhi, 1987: 13 – 26.
  2. Abraham GJS, Dhume VG, Diniz RS. Comparison of didactic lectures, self reading and self instruction on learning methods in the medical students of Western India.Journal of Med Edu 1981; 15: 222 – 25.
  3. Port J, Meiss H.R. Teaching Library skills in Third-Year clerkship. Journal of Med Edu 1982; 57 (7): 564 – 566.
  4. Lal Panna, Ingle G.K. Use of Medical library by undergraduate students in a, medical college of North India. Indian Journal of Community Medicine 1999; Vol XXIV. No.2: 86,- 88.
  5. Samuel N M, Amakaj R E. Evaluation of the regional medical library of the T. N. Dr.M.G.R Medical University in Madras.Ind. J. Med Edu.1996; 35: 18 -24.
  6. Enrico C. Medical Informatics. HMJ 1995; Vo1.310(6991) : 1381 – 1387. ,
  7. Roland J.,Morrow T, Lee N. ABC Medical Computing: Online searching. BMJ1995; vol. 311(7003): 500 – 504.
  8. Farad J., Shell L. Reading habits of House staff What, Where and Why?. Med Teachers 1989; 11 (3/4); 279 – 283.
  9. Schneider E, Mankin J C, Bastile D J. Practical Library Research: a tool for effective library management. Bull Med Libr Med Assoc 1995; vo1.83(1):22-26.

1 North Bengal Medical College, Hurhruta Nagar, Darjlling.

2 Callcutta national Medical College, Kolkata.

3 R G kar Medical College, Kolkata.

Access free medical resources from Wiley-Blackwell now!

About Indmedica - Conditions of Usage - Advertise On Indmedica - Contact Us

Copyright © 2005 Indmedica