October is National Medical Librarians Month

Each October in the US is National Medical Librarians Month. See the Medical natlmedlibrariansmonth2014Library Association’s web site for ideas to promote your library and download a poster:  This year’s theme is:”Critical Knowledge for Challenging Times.”

  • To recognize Medical Librarians Month, and the critical resources and services you provide to your institution
  • MLA is offering a $1500 travel scholarship to Austin, Texas for the 2015 MLA Conference for travel costs including: flight, hotel, and per diem. Write a brief article about how you, as a librarian, have made a difference by answering one or more of these questions:

1) Have you helped save a life? Have you found a solution to a problem others had searched for with no luck? Have you performed outreach and changed lives? Reached a new user population that your library had never reached before? Have you helped the family of a patient through the fear of uncertainty?
2) Have you proven your worth to an administrator or told someone how important libraries are, changing his or her behavior?
3) Have you explored new or non-traditional roles, expanding the realm of what a librarian does?

Tell us your story! We will accept entries until October 31, 2014 and all stories will be published on Dragonfly.


Please send to nnlm@uw.edu with the subject line, “Medical Librarians Month.” Good luck!


Dean Giustini, MLS, MEd
UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian
CHLA/ABSC Public Relations Director
Diamond Health Care Centre, VGH
2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver BC
t: 604.875.4505

Canada needs better coordination for health information

A special thanks to Lee-Anne Ufholz, the President of CHLA/ABSC, for her quotes in the following news stories:

These stories are a gift to our field in Canada for they hint at the lack of true coordination for health information in this country. However, I fear that these stories and the issues they explore will get lost. I recommend the following:

  • Collate the stories and send them to your library committees; the lack of coordination of health information in Canada is a national problem and one that cannot be solved by digital-this and electronic that
  • One of the Board’s goals in its strategic plan is to leverage crowdsourcing; therefore, repurpose these stories for your local hospital news/newsletter by taking quotes from the articles such as this gem:

“…While Canada stumbles, other countries have surged ahead, most notably Norway, which created an electronic medical library with all the key journals — information that’s provided for free not only to health professionals, but also to patients. “Canada could do the same and save money at the same time”, said Ufholz. Right now, when you add up what health professionals and organizations collectively pay to subscribe to electronic libraries, it would cost less to simply buy a national licence so everyone could use it.”

  • If you blog or use social media, send out links and make comments where/when appropriate
  • I will be blogging about this on my own blog, and tweeting later today

Further suggestions/recommendations much appreciated!

Dean Giustini, MLS, MEd
UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian
CHLA/ABSC Public Relations Director
Diamond Health Care Centre, VGH
2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver BC
t: 604.875.4505

CAPAL | ACBAP News & Update August 2014

Thank you for your support of the work of the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians / Association canadienne des bibliothécaires académiques professionnels.

After our first successful AGM at Congress 2014 at Brock University this summer, we have been actively pursuing a number of projects:

Save the Date for CAPAL/ACBAP 2015 (Ottawa May 30th to June 5th 2015)

Congress 2015 will take place at the University of Ottawa from May 30 to June 5 in Ottawa, Ontario. Registration will begin in January 2015. CAPAL/ACBAP will hold its second conference at Congress 2015 in Ottawa.

Capital Ideas, the University of Ottawa’s theme for Congress 2015, invites reflection on the power of ideas, those that connect people and create new knowledge. Good ideas are capable of changing lives, and our world. Congress 2015 will be an exciting intellectual hub where ideas will be expressed and shared…

CAPAL Signs the Pisa Declaration and the Lyon Declaration

CAPAL/ACBAP voted in favor of signing both the Pisa Declaration on Grey Literature and the Lyon Declaration on Open Access at IFLA 2014, adding our support to a growing number of library associations and academic libraries.

Are Canadian Academic Libraries Riding the Waves or Caught in the Storm? CAPAL/ACBAP Attends IFLA Conference in Lyon, France

There were 100 attendees at the IFLA Conference this year. CAPAL/ACBAP attended a two-hour meeting of associations where the IFLA Trend Report (aspects of it) were used as discussion points.

The five high-level trends identified were:

TREND 1 New technologies will expand and limit access to information.

TREND 2 Online education is seen to democratize but also disrupt global learning.

TREND 3 The boundaries of privacy and data protection are continuing to be redefined.

TREND 4 Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new groups of learners

TREND 5 The global information environment will be transformed by new technologies.


Please consider being a member of CAPAL/ACBAP http://capal.wildapricot.org/

Endorse the ‘Pisa Declaration on Policy Development for Grey Literature’

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Dominic Farace who is the Director at GreyNet International, and someone I have known as a librarian interested in the issues affecting the access and dissemination of grey literature.

In early 2014, Farace et al developed an important new document and policy entitled the Pisa Declaration on Policy Development for Grey Literature. Some of the key points or issues discussed in the Pisa Declaration are:

  • Open access to grey lit: librarians can make a commitment to open access to the grey literature
  • Cooperation: librarian cooperation and coordination worldwide is needed to share expertise among grey lit communities, and through the sharing of open data standards
  • Research and education: it seems obvious but I was glad to hear that research and education is part of Pisa and that there should be rewards for librarians who ensure quality standards and good practices in grey literature
  • Licensing of content: an interesting component to Pisa is to address legal issues associated with grey literature (i.e., licensing agreements) by fostering constructive relations with commercial publishers
  • Sustainability: a commitment to sustainability is linked to finances. Identifying funding and grants for special collections and repositories, and making a commitment to long term preservation and investments in key technologies seem key…

Finally, librarians with an interest in grey literature should be thinking about online services and crosslinking of textual and non-textual content on the web: these issues are critical to the future findability of grey literature. The commitment in this regard ranges from librarians (and libraries) engaged in fixing broken links to ensuring the interoperability of systems and portals where grey literature (and any accompanying data) are housed.

Thinking of endorsing the Pisa Declaration? Visit: http://greyguide.isti.cnr.it/pisadecla/iscrivi.php

Int’l Medical Program at BC Children’s Hospital, 2014

I’m pleased to be working with Dr. Ran Goldman from the UBC emergency pediatrics division on an all-day course tomorrow for international medical students. Medical students will get me in the morning for sessions on PubMed & Google Scholar. The workshop will be aimed at giving the students time to practice their search skills. Students will have their laptops.

  • Here is the ANSWER SHEET.  IMG students will receive only the questions
  • A team of us will work with students on 4 of 5 exercises. Try to work on all questions!
  • Consider giving them time to read each question (and help those with limited English)
  • Add 5-8 minutes to try and answer before you review and discuss answers with them
  • Encourage students to conduct searches online, and come up with a list of references, or at least one relevant article that responds to the clinical question
  • Evaluate each student’s participation and willingness to learn the search skills.

Barriers to doing research in health librarianship

I thought this paper, though focussed on the UK, was applicable to the Canadian context. The major barriers identified were:

  • lack of time and organizational support to engage in research
  • a poorly organized research agenda and lack of strategic leadership
  • lack of research confidence and skills among librarians 
  • the health library community does not see itself as research oriented and tends not to prioritize important research questions

Spring H. An investigation into the barriers to and priorities for research engagement in health librarianship. Int J Health Info Manage Res. Spring 2014.


To date, there have been no studies that examine issues of research engagement exclusively within the context of UK health librarianship. This is the first and largest study of its kind and aimed to consider research participation in health librarianship, and answer the question, what are the barriers to and priorities for research engagement in health librarianship?  A focus group attended by 7 participants was followed by a UK wide survey involving a total of 316 representatives from eight identified categories of health librarianship.  The focus group reached consensus on the five key barriers and five key priorities to research engagement in health librarianship.  The survey results revealed that research engagement in health librarianship is linked to a number of factors including organisational and professional cultures around research, perceived limited resources to support research, perceived opportunities for research, and a diverse understanding and perception of what research is amongst health librarians.

Dean Giustini, MLS, MEd
UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian
Diamond Health Care Centre, VGH
2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver BC
t: 604.875.4505

Dig Deep Ask Your Medical Librarian!

Here are the posters which form the basis of a collaboration between the Medical Library Association & the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA/ABSC). Note the two logos at the bottom of each poster. As the CHLA/ASBC Public Relations Director, I will look into printing these posters professionally so that you can buy copies for your library. Alternatively, you can copy the poster yourself locally. Stay tuned. ~Dean

A refreshing new medical librarian blog

Ah, the power of the well-written blogpost — and, on a new blog from a newly-minted Australian hospital librarian (reminds me of my 1st days in hospital libraries) @InfoSeer

“My first month as a hospital librarian”

http://queryinglibraries.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/what-is-it-like-to-be-a-hospital-librarian-my-first-month/ …

#medlibs #canmedlibs

Dean Giustini, MLS, MEd
UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian
Diamond Health Care Centre, VGH
2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver BC
t: 604.875.4505