Journal Club: Measuring impostor phenomenon among health sciences librarians

Meeting Date: September 26, 2019

Presenter: Brianna Howell-Spooner

Citation: Barr-Walker J, Bass MB, Werner DA, et al. Measuring impostor phenomenon among health sciences librarians. J Med Libr Assoc. 2019;107(3):323-32.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6579590/

Article Abstract: Objective: Impostor phenomenon, also known as impostor syndrome, is the inability to internalize accomplishments while experiencing the fear of being exposed as a fraud. Previous work has examined impostor phenomenon among academic college and research librarians, but health sciences librarians, who are often asked to be experts in medical subject areas with minimal training or education in these areas, have not yet been studied. The aim of this study was to measure impostor phenomenon among health sciences librarians.
Methods: A survey of 2,125 eligible Medical Library Association (MLA) members was taken from October to December 2017. The online survey featuring the Harvey Impostor Phenomenon scale, a validated measure of impostor phenomenon, was administered, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine relationships between impostor phenomenon scores and demographic variables.
Results: A total of 703 participants completed the survey (33% response rate), and 14.5% of participants scored >=42 on the Harvey scale, indicating possible impostor feelings. Gender, race, and library setting showed no associations, but having an educational background in the health sciences was associated with lower impostor scores. Age and years of experience were inversely correlated with impostor phenomenon, with younger and newer librarians demonstrating higher scores.
Conclusions: One out of seven health sciences librarians in this study experienced impostor phenomenon, similar to previous findings for academic librarians. Librarians, managers, and MLA can work to recognize and address this issue by raising awareness, using early prevention methods, and supporting librarians who are younger and/or new to the profession.

Questions

1. As a health librarian, how did this article make you feel?

–  feel a little bit better that other librarians feel the same way

– interesting topic, first time heard of it, able to relate to a lot of the feelings from the beginning of career

– Not sure, a lot of the issue that came up in the scale appear in any job, it a reality but it’s also part of the process; for me I had similar feelings in other library jobs, in those jobs I felt like the information I was giving wasn’t something I made happen, but people didn’t notice

– The anxiety is normal, only really a problem if maybe it existed after the first

– Could be a problem in workplaces that feed those anxieties-

2. Were you surprised by the results?

– a little bit surprised that the results were so comparable to the study on academic librarians

– depending on the setting a lot of librarian’s have advanced degrees in the area they are working

– is this the same for academic health librarians, not everyone, seen it happen at academic libraries where the subjects weren’t the ones they studied but they are liaising with departments they don’t have a background in.

3. Even though this was an American based study, do you think it applies to Canadian health librarians?

– Yes

– Not much difference

4. Do you think there might be other factors affecting imposter syndrome in health science or hospital librarians than the ones hypothesized by the authors (hypothesized factors: less educational background and work experience in the health sciences and yet expected to be subject experts).

– I hypothesize that health librarians who were interested in science in their earlier education or have always had a personal interest in science, but did not pursue a university degree in the topic might have an ambivalent score on imposter syndrome scale.

– Would they feel that they didn’t belong because they don’t have the paper to back them up, were they discouraged earlier in their education by others who didn’t think they could hack the hard sciences, or did they find a different interest in their undergrad but never lost interest in the topic on a personal level?

– Mental health issue, some of the participants could be more prone to self-esteem or feeling that they are not up to the work

– Type of workplace; if the workplace isn’t supportive, that might contribute, if it’s open to collaboration that might help alleviate feelings of needing to go it alone

– The type of work that we do is very challenging to parse the searches; (other agreement)

– Some of the terms are difficult to parse

– More collaboration makes it feels less burdensome, in workplaces that are competitive, that vulnerability might be turned back on you

– New concepts and new ways to work can be destabilizing, feedback and support helps

– If someone doesn’t deal well with stress and anxiety, can compound it

– Mentorship: difference between academic and special?

– Special: asking is expected

– Academic: how many colleagues are working with the same material/subject?

5. Did anybody download the supplementary materials and score themselves on the survey instrument? Did you feel that it reflected what you perceived?

–  difficult to score yourself without throwing it off

– some of questions depend on where you are in your career, changes the answers

– always learning, so some of the questions didn’t reflect some life philosophies

– in the moment feelings will affect the outcome

6. In relation to the supplementary materials, the authors were trying to match the study to a previous one so the questions they could ask were limited. Assuming that limitation was removed, are there questions you would have liked to ask if you were researching this topic?

– experience that participants had before their position in the health sciences library, were they in a similar environment, what tools do they have, did they ever have to learn new things on the go?

– “how many years in health science” versus “how many years in library work do you have”?

– more qualitative questions; did they NEED the job because of economic constraints or did they seek it out? What is their history with health care or even science?

– different types of academic libraries, what were the types?

7. Are there any weaknesses that you would want to address in follow-up studies?

– Interesting to see a more global scale

– Compare American versus Canadian context

– Could they have gotten around the MLA selection bias; convenient but limiting

– Listserv

– Social media

– Reach out individually

– more representation, demographically,

– they did list their limitations

Other thoughts?

– Enjoyed the article, new topic, more possibilities for studies, good starting point

– Fairly good job getting started

– Coping strategies? That might’ve been something they could’ve added, we’ve all gone through this, what could employees/employers do to make this an easier thing?

– Try to remind myself that I might not be a content expert but I am an expert in searching for the things,

– Clinical staff don’t realize that we don’t have the background, if we point that out they do help us with figuring out terminology and thought process

– There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ search strategy, you learn how to put it together day by day

– Don’t be afraid of new things; acknowledge that you’re starting at square one and take it one step at a time.

– Remind yourself that people want you to succeed

– It’s a growth process

– Has anyone had to help someone with imposter syndrome? What would you do to help?

– Had an employee who wanted to quit because he didn’t think he was learning things fast enough

– Explained the reasons why he was hired, I believe that you have the skills, not expecting you to become a super librarian overnight, it’s okay to ask when you don’t know, you won’t get in trouble, what is it that you’re struggling with, what are your needs?

Journal Club: Critical librarianship in health sciences libraries: An introduction

Meeting Date: July 24, 2019

Presenter: Michelle Dalidowicz

Citation: Barr-Walker J, Sharifi C. Critical librarianship in health sciences libraries: an introduction. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA. 2019;107(2):258-64. DOI: 10.5195/jmla.2019.620
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6466494/

Article Abstract:

The Medical Library Association recently announced its commitment to diversity and inclusion. While this is a positive start, critical librarianship takes the crucial concepts of diversity and inclusion one step further by advocating for social justice action and the dismantling of oppressive institutional structures, including white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism. Critical librarianship takes many forms, but, at its root, is focused on interrogating and disrupting inequitable systems, including changing racist cataloging rules, creating student-driven information literacy instruction, supporting inclusive and ethical publishing models, and rejecting the notion of libraries as neutral spaces. This article presents examples of the application of critical practice in libraries as well as ideas for applying critical librarianship to the health sciences.

Critical Appraisal:

Questions:

1) Critical Librarianship is usually defined as applying the principles of social justice to our work as librarians. Is there anything that you would add to that definition?

– critical theory is really the basis

– more than just saying ‘social justice’ has to state actual ‘anti-‘ statements

– but when do you stop naming anti- stances

– are there certain ones that are more insidious, that just can’t be not stated

– power differentials, important piece of these discussions

2) In undergrad or in post grad, did you ever receive instruction on critical studies? Do you feel comfortable engaging with it as part of your work?

– English undergrad covered critical theory, inclusion and anti-inclusion; it comes up a lot

– sociology covers it; milder conversations but the same stuff

– race relations in Canada were covered in a gender studies course

– Not as much convo in the gender studies on critical theory

– nothing in MLIS; hope that changes

– MLIS talked about homelessness

– MLIS only exposure was in cataloguing, used examples that showed how things weren’t reflective of anti-oppressive critical librarianship; but it wasn’t presented as critical librarianship

– history, topics came up as we talked about American history and immigration but it wasn’t critical theory

– pop music course brought in critical theory

– want to say “yes” am comfortable engaging, being outspoken about social justice

– barriers include politeness, people might not say anything but they will be silently judging you for speaking out about it [critical theory/social justice]

– it’s more insidious [oppressive systems], unless you’re an oppressed group or have studied critical theory/social justice theories you’re unlikely to recognize the problems with the systems that are in place.

– Needs more critical mass from society, people don’t know how to respond and they don’t ‘see’ the offense

– in terms of our practice, I use examples of contentious terms and how much the ‘outdated’ words are used versus more appropriate terms.

– it’s becoming easier to talk about privilege; but not everyone understands it

– the fights and the backlash might cause people to refrain from getting involved out of fear or wanting to avoid discomfort

3) What would critical medical librarianship look like and what might it encompass (e.g. social justice, health disparities)?

– health disparities is one we get often asked about

– it becomes apparent in the searching you do, indigenous, rural ect. We as librarians get an idea of ‘where the money goes’, the lack of research when oppressed population is combined with ‘x’ health condition

– more patient advocate role; the librarian as a patient advocate (paper from the states)

– how do we engage with patients? Consumer guides, who’s looking at what we’re making?

4) Do you feel like you are already using critical librarianship in your health library practice?

– not enough

– article was a good reminder of what we can control: what we find, reference interview questions, instruction that touches on access (the privilege of being able to access paywall journals, the services we provide),

– selection of articles, how can we build that into library instruction, throwing in a critical article

– often patrons are looking for ‘support’ for their question, but what if the opposite is better care? Do you want all the evidence or only what supports your opinion?

– is publication bias a social justice issue? Possibly, it’s definitely a bias

– articles that we don’t include because we don’t ‘trust’ the source or the population is ‘not the same’

5) Different areas of library work and how they can be affected by critical librarianship were touched upon in the article. Were there areas which you felt could be more readily changed in your library practice than others and how would you like to be able to do so?

– cultural heritage, would be interesting to curate articles and materials for indigenous health or educational materials of indigenous methods of healing

– the search results, what we’re picking out, what we’re supporting; more inclusive questions in the reference interview

– involving patients in their care

5a) Were there areas of library work you think were missing that could be found in critical health librarianship?

6) Are there ways that we, as health librarians, make choices in our work that go against critical librarianship ideals?

7) What are ways that we can use critical librarianship in our health libraries right now to encourage social justice critical thinking and engagement in our patrons?

– using search examples in teaching; using social justice topics in our library search instruction to keep it in the fore front

(Note: We ran out of time so we skipped questions 5a and 6)

Journal Club: The impact of patient, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) as a search strategy tool on literature search quality

Meeting date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Presenter: Lance Fox

Citation: Eriksen, M.B., & Frandsen, T.F. (2018) The impact of patient, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) as a search strategy tool on literature search quality: a systematic review. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 106(4), 420-431. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.345

Article abstract:

Objective: This review aimed to determine if the use of the patient, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) model as a search strategy tool affects the quality of a literature search.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA), Scopus, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) catalog up until January 9, 2017. Reference lists were scrutinized, and citation searches were performed on the included studies. The primary outcome was the quality of literature searches and the secondary outcome was time spent on the literature search when the PICO model was used as a search strategy tool, compared to the use of another conceptualizing tool or unguided searching.

Results: A total of 2,163 records were identified, and after removal of duplicates and initial screening, 22 full-text articles were assessed. Of these, 19 studies were excluded and 3 studies were included, data were extracted, risk of bias was assessed, and a qualitative analysis was conducted. The included studies compared PICO to the PIC truncation or links to related articles in PubMed, PICOS, and sample, phenomenon of interest, design, evaluation, research type (SPIDER). One study compared PICO to unguided searching. Due to differences in intervention, no quantitative analysis was performed.

Conclusions: Only few studies exist that assess the effect of the PICO model vis-a-vis other available models or even vis-a-vis the use of no model. Before implications for current practice can be drawn, well-designed studies are needed to evaluate the role of the tool used to devise a search strategy.

Critical Appraisal: 

Questions:

1) What has been your experience with PICO? Do you find it improves the quality of your searches? Is it effective for teaching others how to search?

2) Have you used other models before like SPIDER or SPICE? What has been your experience with those? What about unguided searching?

3) None of the 3 studies that were assessed investigated the time spent on literature searches. Do you think using a model like PICO would have any impact on time compared to unguided searching?

4) Two prominent issues that were mentioned are the number of search blocks and avoiding outcome-related terms in the search strategy. Is this something you focus on when searching? When do you include or exclude outcome-related terms?

5) What are your thoughts on the criteria the authors developed for assessing the risk of bias in the studies they evaluated?

6) What are the authors’ conclusions? Does this study make you think any differently about the use of PICO (or any model) in your work?

7) Was there something missing from this study that you were expecting or hoping to read?

Completed Critical Appraisal Summary

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:
https://doi.org/10.29173/jchla/jabsc.v38i3.29300

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: 

Questions:

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:
https://doi.org/10.29173/jchla29366

Article abstract:

Background:

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: 

Questions

  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: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31592-6

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

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: https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12223

Article abstract:

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

Objectives
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.

Methods
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.

Findings
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.

Conclusions
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: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2018.324

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

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: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2216

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

Journal Club: New directions in health sciences libraries in Canada

Meeting date: March 28, 2018

Presenter: Gina Brander

Citation: Ganshorn, H., & Giustini, D. (2017). New directions in health sciences libraries in Canada: Research and evidence based practice are key. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 34(3), 252–257. https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12190

Article abstract: This article is the second in a new series in this regular feature. The intention of the series is to look at important global developments in health science libraries. These articles will serve as a road map, describing the key changes in the field and exploring factors driving these changes. The present article by two Canadian librarians identifies important national developments which are shaping the profession such as the centralisation of health care services, the challenge of providing consumer health information in the absence of a national strategy, government recognition of the need to recognise and respond to the health needs of indigenous peoples and the growing emphasis on managing research data. Although their profession is strong, health science librarians must find ways of providing enhanced services with fewer staff and demonstrate value to organisations.

Reason for selection: 
As a librarian currently working in post-secondary education, I found this bird’s-eye view of trends in health sciences libraries and librarianship informative and thought-provoking. In fact, as soon as I finished reading the article, I had several questions I wanted to fire at colleagues working in hospitals and health research contexts! I therefore selected this article because I am interested in learning about the on-the-ground experiences of health librarians in Saskatchewan, and whether the same factors driving these changes elsewhere in Canadian health libraries are at work in our province. As well, I hope to learn more about some of the challenges resulting from budget cuts and organizational restructuring.

Critical appraisal questions & summary: 

  1. Have any of the five trends identified by Ganshorn and Giustini resulted in added or changed roles in your library? Which trend has most significantly impacted your daily practice?
  • There is definitely more of a role for librarians to introduce and facilitate the use of different technologies. Our users want more online and open access books and journals as well as mobile apps which are in high demand compared to a few years ago. Academic settings are seeing a large increase in 3D printing and even wanting to borrow iPads and laptops, interestingly not all students appear to have their own.
  • Centralisation of health services is obviously very relevant to the day-to-day experience for the new Saskatchewan Health Authority. Different libraries (and ways of providing services) have had to come together and provide a new single service that is being pushed out to the whole province. This has a major impact on collection development.
  1. One trend observed by the authors is the centralisation of provincial health care services. In the face of the recent dissolution of the twelve health regions in favour of one provincial health authority in Saskatchewan, do you agree that the overall result of centralisation has been, or will be, improved access to collections and library services?
  • SHIRP licensed products have helped with the new centralisation of health services. Regina had a larger budget than Saskatoon and Prince Albert so it has improved access to resources for everyone. The former health region libraries were already working together in some ways even before the amalgamation happened and relationships were already developed which has helped facilitate this transition.
  • The Saskatchewan Health Authority Library is ready to go but still waiting for other things to happen in the Health Authority so that we have a clearer direction (ex. strategic plan, marketing, etc).
  • Webinars and training sessions via WebEx being offered to staff from some of the former health regions that ha dno library. However this comes with its challenges such as only having 1 WebEx account.
  1. Another trend observed was a movement towards supporting diverse populations/health consumers, with an emphasis on providing culturally competent and inclusive consumer health information to Indigenous communities. Can you speak about any steps your library has taken to respond to the TRC’s seven health-specific Calls to Action, such as the selection and inclusion of Indigenous-focused content and resources?
  • The importance of incorporating Indigenous ways of knowing and learning has  been emphasized in academic settings. Looking at different approaches and awareness of history and issues related to Indigenous Peoples, making sure  resources are not just selected, but also featured and promoted to staff to help develop cultural competency.
  •  There has been some connecting with Elders, weekly staff huddles where one of the calls to action is read out loud and everyone talks about what is being done. It should be noted however that there tends to not be enough follow-up. But the huddles are great for making staff aware and keeping them informed of what is being done.
  • The 1st year nursing students have to do an indigenous project so connecting them with information (Canadian, Saskatchewan, UofS iPortal) and addressing their needs. UofR works closely in partnership with the First Nations University and partners with things like books.
  • Also indigenizing the library spaces and making sure they are inclusive. UofR has beautiful indigenous art in the building. UofS campus has also done a great job.
  • There is a difference in clinical settings perhaps because clinical librarians depend on the needs of their users and these types of questions aren’t being asked as much.
  • The Regina General Hospital has an Indigenous Healing Centre at its front entrance. Perhaps an opportunity here for the library to do something?
  1. Have you witnessed an increased demand for support around systematic reviews and other forms of evidence synthesis? If so, how has your library met the increase in demand? Have new service models been explored or piloted at your library? Have any library roles shifted towards increased embeddedness to support the needs of research teams?
  • Increase in requests for systematic reviews in Kinesiology and Nursing in academic settings. Very time consuming, mostly consists of doing the literature review and extracting the data.
  • Telling them the librarian must be included as an author
  • The people requesting these reviews usually haven’t done enough preparation before approaching the library and they get turned away.
  • Sometimes when asked to re-run a search, the strategies are not good and include very few search terms so it becomes more time consuming.
  1. How do health sciences libraries continue to meet the challenging demands for increased services in the face of budgetary cuts? Are we simply facing the same issues as those who came before us, or do you see the need for a serious overhaul in terms of how we provide information resources and services to users?
  • “We’re always doing more with less.”
  • One strategy mentioned in the article is to utilize and teach the technology. Use video conference software to reach as many people as possible (also using something like RedCap).
  • Enable our users to do as much of the work on their own as possible.
  • York University has a tool to help with modules, research, and writing that the UofR has been looking at.
  1. Are there any developments shaping our profession that Ganshorn and Guistini did not mention, which you feel warrant attention?
  • These authors did a great job selecting the major issues in Canada, but they only touched briefly on the struggle of demonstrating our value.
  • There isn’t much benchmarking on staff ratio for our libraries.
  • There was no mention of the dissolution of the CLA and creation of CFLA.