2008 年 55 巻 2 号 p. 112-120
The qualification system for the library profession in Japan, regulated in the library law, mainly stipulates the requirements for becoming public librarians and does not endorse expertise in any other types of libraries. Under such circumstances, the Japan Medical Association, the JMLA, has provided training courses, research grants, scholarships, and awards to develop professional health sciences librarians. The JMLA launched its health sciences librarians credentialing program called the JMLA Health Sciences Information Professionals, JHIP, in 2004. The JHIP program was designed by modeling on its counterpart in the United States, the Academy of Health Science Information Professionals, AHIP, which was started in 1989 by the Medical Library Association, MLA. In this paper, authors described distinctive aspects of the JHIP by comparing it with the AHIP and reviewing three surveys on the AHIP conducted by the MLA and some researchers to debate some issues that a professional credentialing program may have, with the hope of seeking the appropriate direction JHIP program should take. The findings from the comparison and the review of the surveys are: the strength of AHIP is based on distinctive professional competence; related marketing/promotion activities; and continuous effort on evaluation and adjustment of the program as a part of MLA's integrated professional development program.