Journal Club: Canadian Health Libraries’ Responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action

Meeting date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Presenter: Megan Kennedy

Citation: Maestro, L., & Chadwick, D.J. (2017) Canadian health libraries’ response to the truth and reconciliation commission’s calls to action: A literature review and content analysis. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association, 38(3), 92-101. doi:

Article abstract:

Introduction: As part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Final Report on the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada, ninety-four (94) Calls to Action were identified. Of those, seven are health-specific. The objective of this research paper is to determine how Canadian health library websites are responding to these calls to action.

Methods: The authors conducted an initial literature review to gain an understanding of the context of Indigenous health in Canada. A content analysis of Canadian health library websites was conducted to track mentions of the TRC and their responses to the need for Indigenous-focused resources.

Results: The results of content analysis indicated few online responses to the TRC’s Calls to Action from Canadian health libraries. Only thirty-three per cent of Canadian health libraries had content that was Indigenous-focused, and only about fifteen per cent of health libraries had visible content related to the TRC’s Calls to Action. Academic and consumer health libraries were more likely to have both TRC- and Indigenous-focused content.

Discussion: Nuances related to the research question resulted in some challenges to research design. For example, website content analysis is an imperfect indicator of real-world action. Limitations in research design notwithstanding, visibility is an important part of conveying commitment to the TRC, and the information available indicates the Canadian medical community is not living up to that commitment.

Conclusion: Canadian health libraries need to do more to show a visible commitment to the TRC’s Calls to Action.

Critical Appraisal: 


1) At the time the paper was written, only 33% of Canadian health libraries has content that was Indigenous focused and only 15% had visible content related to the TRC’s Calls to Action.

-How much do you feel this has changed in the 2 years since this paper was published?

-Can you think of examples in your libraries where you are actively answering the calls?

2) What are some of the obstacles in your library/organization that you see impeding the answering of the TRC’s Calls to Action?

3) Do you believe that the content-analysis methods used to collect data were robust enough to support the authors’ final conclusions?

4) What do you think about the authors’ comments on their challenges searching databases using controlled vocabulary for “Indigenous”?

-Does your library have a work around to facilitate retrieval of Indigenous content?

5) Do you agree with the authors’ comments about recognizing the TRC in Indigenous initiatives?

“…although we have determined that the important thing to acknowledge is that these initiatives exist, regardless of the catalyst for their implementation, recognition of the TRC as a significant national undertaking is still important, and is not being addressed to the level it should be.”

6) Was there anything you wanted more from in the results or something you wish the authors had included in their analysis?

Completed Critical Appraisal Summary

Journal Club: Research Support in Health Sciences Libraries: A scoping review

Meeting date: Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Presenter: Erin Langman

Citation: Visintini, S., Boutet, M., Manley, A., & Helwig, M. (2018). Research support in health sciences libraries: a scoping review. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association, 39(2), 56-78. doi:

Article abstract:


As part of a health sciences library’s internal assessment of its research support services, an environmental scan and literature review were conducted to identify research services offered elsewhere in Canada. Through this process, it became clear that a more formal review of the academic literature would help libraries make informed decisions about their services. To address this gap, we conducted a scoping review of research services provided in health sciences libraries contexts.Methods:

Searches were conducted in Medline, Embase, ERIC, CINAHL, LISTA, LISS, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar and Google for articles which described the development, implementation, or evaluation of one or more research support initiatives in a health sciences library context. We identified additional articles by searching reference lists of included studies and soliciting medical library listservs.Results:

Our database searches retrieved 7134 records, 4026 after duplicates were removed. Title/abstract screening excluded 3751, with 333 records retained for full-text screening. Seventy-five records were included, reporting on 74 different initiatives. Included studies were published between 1990 and 2017, the majority from North American and academic library contexts. Major service areas reported were the creation of new research support positions, and support services for systematic review support, grants, data management, open access and repositories.Conclusion:

This scoping review is the first review to our knowledge to map research support services in the health sciences library context. It identified main areas of research service support provided by health sciences libraries that can be used for benchmarking or information gathering purposes.

Critical Appraisal: 


  1. What research services does your library currently offer? Did the article provide any ideas or models for future service provision? A “spectrum of services” figure is provided by the authors on page 66; are there any services your library currently provides on the left-end of the spectrum that could be expanded upon?
  2. What are some potential barriers for service expansion at your institution? The creation of new positions was central to 27 of the studies, and fee-based services were mentioned by three of the studies; would this potentially remove some barriers? Are either option feasible?
  3. Only three of the identified studies reported conducting a needs assessment prior to implementing a new service, and less than half included some form of evaluation. The authors argue that future studies must focus more on evaluation. How does your institution currently evaluate services or decide to offer a new service? How can this be improved upon?
  4. Open discussion

Journal Club: Progress in Evidence-Based Medicine: A quarter century on

Meeting date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Presenter: Lukas Miller

Citation: Djulbegovic, B., & Guyatt, G.H. (2017). Progress in evidence-based medicine: a quarter century on. Lancet, 390(10092), 415-423. doi:

Article abstract:

In response to limitations in the understanding and use of published evidence, evidence-based medicine (EBM) began as a movement in the early 1990s. EBM’s initial focus was on educating clinicians in the understanding and use of published literature to optimise clinical care, including the science of systematic reviews. EBM progressed to recognise limitations of evidence alone, and has increasingly stressed the need to combine critical appraisal of the evidence with patient’s values and preferences through shared decision making. In another progress, EBM incorporated and further developed the science of producing trustworthy clinical practice guidelines pioneered by investigators in the 1980s. EBM’s enduring contributions to clinical medicine include placing the practice of medicine on a solid scientific basis, the development of more sophisticated hierarchies of evidence, the recognition of the crucial role of patient values and preferences in clinical decision making, and the development of the methodology for generating trustworthy recommendations.

Critical Appraisal: 

Note: Gordon Guyatt is considered the originator of the concept of evidence-based medicine.

1. Can you relate to any changes to librarianship (health/medical or otherwise) that coincide with the author’s observations of EBM’s own evolution?
2. BD and GHG provide a prediction for the next 25 years based upon their review. Given their predictions, how do you think libraries must adapt to meet the needs of evidence-based research & practice?
3. Did you learn something new, or has your perspective on evidence-based medicine changed in any way after reading this article? If yes, how might it affect your practice? Will this help you teach/explain EBM?
4. [If time, open discussion]

Completed Critical Appraisal Summary

SHLA Fall Meeting

Invitation: SHLA Fall Annual Meeting 2017

The SHLA Fall Annual Meeting will be held Friday, November 2 at 9:30 AM in the Alexandria Room at the Dr. John Archer Library, University of Regina.

Brief Schedule

10:00 AM – Welcome/Introductions

10:15 AM – Roundtable Updates

10:30 AM – SHLA Fall Annual Meeting

11:30 AM – Lunch

1:00 PM – CE Session: Google for Good Evidence (Webinar)
Presented by Orvie Dingwall and Maureen Babb (Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library, University of Manitoba)

2:00 PM – Wrap Up

The full agenda has been distributed to members via email. Please contact the SHLA executive if you have not received a copy.

Journal Club: Developing a Generic Tool to Routinely Measure the Impact of Health Libraries

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Presenter: Catherine Young

Citation: Ayre, S., Brettle, A., Gilroy, D., Knock, D., Mitchelmore, R.,… Turner, J. (2018). Developing a generic tool to routinely measure the impact of health libraries. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 35(3), 227-245. doi:

Article abstract:

Health libraries contribute to many activities of a health care organisation. Impact assessment needs to capture that range of contributions.

To develop and pilot a generic impact questionnaire that: (1) could be used routinely across all English NHS libraries; (2) built on previous impact surveys; and (3) was reliable and robust.

This collaborative project involved: (1) literature search; (2) analysis of current best practice and baseline survey of use of current tools and requirements; (3) drafting and piloting the questionnaire; and (4) analysis of the results, revision and plans for roll out.

The framework selected was the International Standard Methods And Procedures For Assessing The Impact Of Libraries (ISO 16439). The baseline survey (n = 136 library managers) showed that existing tools were not used, and impact assessment was variable. The generic questionnaire developed used a Critical Incident Technique. Analysis of the findings (n = 214 health staff and students), plus comparisons with previous impact studies indicated that the questionnaire should capture the impact for all types of health libraries.

The collaborative project successfully piloted a generic impact questionnaire that, subject to further validation, should apply to many types of health library and information services.

Critical Appraisal: 

Critical Appraisal Worksheet

Completed Critical Appraisal Summary

Journal Club: Use of Annual Surveying to Identify Technology Trends and Improve Service Provision

Meeting date: Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Presenter: Michelle Dalidowicz

Citation: Norton, Hannah F., (2018). Use of Annual Surveying to Identify Technology Trends and Improve Service Provision . Journal of the Medical Library Association. 106 (3), p . 320-329. DOI:

Article abstract:
Objective: At an academic health sciences library serving a wide variety of disciplines, studying library users’ technology use provides necessary information on intersection points for library services. Administering a similar survey annually for five years generated a holistic view of users’ technology needs and preferences over time.

Methods: From 2012 to 2016, the University of Florida Health Science Center Library (HSCL) annually administered a sixteen-to-twenty question survey addressing health sciences users’ technology awareness and use and their interest in using technology to engage with the library and its services. The survey was distributed throughout the HSC via email invitation from liaison librarians to their colleges and departments and advertisement on the HSCL home page.

Results: Smartphone ownership among survey respondents was nearly universal, and a majority of respondents also owned a tablet. While respondents were likely to check library hours, use medical apps, and use library electronic resources from their mobile devices, they were unlikely to friend or follow the library on Facebook or Twitter or send a call number from the catalog. Respondents were more likely to have used EndNote than any other citation management tool, but over 50% of respondents had never used each tool or never heard of it.

Conclusions: Annual review of survey results has allowed librarians to identify users’ needs and interests, leading to incremental changes in services offered. Reviewing the aggregate data allowed strategic consideration of how technology impacts library interactions with users, with implications toward library marketing, training, and service development.

Critical Appraisal: 

Critical Appraisal Worksheet

Critical Appraisal Questions:

  1. How could these results inform your technology acquisition, policy and/or training?
  2. Was there anything that was particularly surprising to you about the results?
  3. Do you sense that the technology gaps from this study could be the same at your institution? Is there anything else that might be missing [e.g. Training topics]?

Completed Critical Appraisal Summary

Chapter Update: 2018 Spring AGM

The 2018 Spring SHLA meeting opened with two member presentations and roundtable updates from members.

Susan Baer, Director of Libraries and Archives at Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, presented on the history and research developments of a working group of pan-Canadian librarians investigating the development of standards for literature searching. The group used an online questionnaire to identify steps searchers would take to conduct an ‘exemplary search,’ and developed a living-document glossary to address the issue of inconsistencies in search term use. Over time, the project developed from a standard into a code of practice to inform mediated searching practices.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic librarians Tasha Maddison and Diane Zerr discussed a new online module created for the institute’s Adult Teaching and Learning Program. This program develops and advances the leadership and instructional skills of faculty. The Library has previously provided in-person research, citation, and technology education sessions to support learners. The shift to online, self-paced instruction has provided the Library with the opportunity to collaborate with Learning Technology trainers and Adult Teaching and Learning instructors. Diane and Tasha showcased the librarian’s role in blended curriculum design by integrating learning outcomes, learning steps, and assessments into the modules.

Roundtable updates were given on member activities at the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, University of Regina, and University of Saskatchewan (see minutes for details).

To kick off the AGM, Lance provided an update on the SHLA Journal Club, which currently has 14 members and is now listed on the Library Journal Club Network. Gina demonstrated options for uniting content from the JC and SHLA WordPress sites. The motion to combine the Journal Club website content with the SHLA website, and to make this content public, was passed.

Updates from the executive members included an overview of executive activities over the year, which focused on administrative and business continuity. The Constitutional Review Working Group Report was discussed, and accepted with amendments. No nominees were volunteered for Secretary-Treasurer and President-Elect. Alongside another call for these vacant positions, nominations for the new Continuing Education Coordinator position will be sent out to the membership.

Motions to spent surplus SHLA funds by supporting the current President in her attendance of the 2018 CHLA/ABSC Conference, and to create bursaries to send the 2019 Executive to the CHLA/ABSC conference (based on operating budget), were carried. A motion to establish an operating budget was also put forward and carried.

Michelle requested that the membership review the CHLA/ABSC Strategic Plan to provide ideas and suggestions to inform future directions of the SHLA.

Journal Club: Research engagement of health sciences librarians

Meeting date: Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Presenter: Catherine Hana

Citation: Dawson, D. (DeDe) ., (2018). Effective Practices and Strategies for Open Access Outreach: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 6(1), p.eP2216. DOI:

Article abstract:
INTRODUCTION – There are many compelling reasons to make research open access (OA), but raising the awareness of faculty and administrators about OA is a struggle. Now that more and more funders are introducing OA policies, it is increasingly important that researchers understand OA and how to comply with these policies. U.K. researchers and their institutions have operated within a complex OA policy environment for many years, and academic libraries have been at the forefront of providing services and outreach to support them. This article discusses the results of a qualitative study that investigated effective practices and strategies of OA outreach in the United Kingdom.

METHODS – Semistructured interviews were conducted with 14 individuals at seven universities in the United Kingdom in late 2015. Transcripts of these interviews were analyzed for dominant themes using an inductive method of coding.

RESULTS – Themes were collected under the major headings of “The Message”; “Key Contacts and Relationships”; “Qualities of the OA Practitioner”; and “Advocacy versus Compliance.” DISCUSSION Results indicate that messages about OA need to be clear, concise, and jargon free. They need to be delivered repeatedly and creatively adapted to specific audiences. Identifying and building relationships with influencers and informers is key to the uptake of the message, and OA practitioners must have deep expertise to be credible as the messengers.

CONCLUSION – This timely research has immediate relevance to North American libraries as they contend with pressures to ramp up their own OA outreach and support services to assist researchers in complying with new federal funding policies.

Reason for selection: DeDe presented at the joint SHLA/MAHIP CE session on May 10. As several journal club members also attended the session, I thought it would be good to take a more in-depth look at DeDe’s findings. For those who were not at the CE session, this is still an interesting and relevant topic that has not been well covered in previous journal club meetings.

Critical Appraisal:
Completed Critical Appraisal Worksheet