Journal Club – Global Responses of Health Science Librarians to the COVID‐19 (Corona virus) Pandemic: A Desktop Analysis

Meeting Date: November, 5, 2020

Presenter: Mary Chipanshi

Article:  Yuvaraj, M. (2020). Global responses of health science librarians to the COVID‐19 (Corona virus) pandemic: A desktop analysis. Health Information and Libraries Journal, Health information and libraries journal, 2020-07-09. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/hir.12321

Questions:

1) Are the study objectives relevant?

  • Yes, it’s relevant to know how libraries are responding to crisis to see where our services can be improved. In order to build studies around what’s working and what isn’t you have to know what people are doing first.
  • We had to think about expanding our services, finding ways to do document deliveries
  • All services were focused on COVID, requests in other areas dropped
  • Article was very relevant
  • Priorities changed to COVID, regular programming wasn’t as much of a priority
  • Collaboration among other public health libraries
  • After March everybody scrambled, it became a different normal

Does the study add anything new?

  • It helps identify launching off points for research on library services: what’s working/not working, what can be added, is this a service that can be adapted?

Was the desktop analysis approach the best method for this study?

  • For the purposes of finding out what people are doing without having to create a survey, yes.
  • This is pandemic and you’re trying to pull resources for a novel virus trying to get as much information as possible to people who need it for known clients and unknown clients
  • Trying to make things as accessible as possible
  • It would very difficult to reach professionals with a more traditional research method
  • Wish we knew more about what “desktop method means”
    • Add maybe a second level of review, have a peer review the table
  • Had to look up what desktop research was
  • Seems more like a research method for an undergraduate research paper
  • Flesh it out and tell us their research or search methods
  • Methodology section could use a lot of work, especially in clarifying what the method it used is, its purpose, etc.
  • International library associations were included (what were the criteria used?)
  • Confusion over association and website inclusion, they are very different, serve different people

Does the author acknowledge limitations in the article? If not do you see any limitations?

  • Language would be a barrier/limitation to assessing the efforts of library organizations/associations
    • Noticed that they only looked at associations that for sure have English as their main language/only language which is interesting considering where the author is from has over 20 languages
  • UK is represented, US is represented, Australia is represented
    • Where is Africa?
    • Where is India? (where author is from)
  • Library associations in Africa
    • Didn’t find anything that was COVID for them when I looked it up, they were drawing from other places
  • Author should’ve looked in more places, added limitations so that we aren’t asking these questions

Is the development of posters a good idea? Has your library developed any posters?

  • I put up the one that our organization distributed at the beginning about safety protocols (e.g. 2 meters apart, covering sneezes) but we’ve been closed since then
  • Posters are handled by communications department, library wouldn’t make the poster
  • Were told library services are going to take a backseat, but the library was still a guiding hand for searches
  • Librarian helped the communications team
  • Needs to be a central message
  • Most librarians have been home since March
  • Universal masking posters, symptom monitoring, around the library but not produced by it

How have you been providing resources to your users?

  • Mostly online, some book pickup
  • Blocked access to public computers for safety
  • At first, nobody could have access to the materials, started getting students complaining about lack of access to the library collection of textbooks
    • The text books can’t be digitized and could not provide them online
  • Started curbside pickup, within Canada but couldn’t send them out of country
  • Made book lockers available for pickup
  • Online access to books that you have in your collection, some of their books are available through the hi-T trust,
    • One problem, can’t hand out print copy when it’s in the online trust
  • Print collection was a problem, the librarians aren’t physically there to check out the books
    • Trying to find things freely available online
    • Most users want articles, not physical books
    • For ILL requests, they are faxed to the user
    • If you work in the building, user can go pick it up
  • No one is allowed to go into the stacks

Has your library developed any resources or have you linked to any COVID-19 resources for your users?

  • When COVID started, pulled together a resource page, links to resources, live search. Synopses of articles, links to publishers that are making article open access for COVID articles
  • Quicklinks to other national/provincial public health websites and other international public health sites: CDC, WHO
    • Dashboards (Johns Hopkins), vaccine tracker
    • Librarians email each other to update the page
  • Thinking of making a lib guide but we don’t have the time
  • Huge amount of collaboration and peer review for searches and search strategies

Do you think that in the process of expanding the librarian’s role in response to the COVID-19 crisis the users are lost?

  • Lost patient/family users, they couldn’t safely access our in-person resources and we don’t have a lot of online resources for the public
  • Requests were way down, thought “was it something we did?”
    • After the first wave, there was an increase in the use in preparation for the second wave
  • Not at the usual level, but maybe it’s coming back

Have libraries acquired new users?

  • Our library has definitely acquired new users, but they are people who could have used our services before so there is a question of “why weren’t they?” and “how can we make sure they continue to use our services after the pandemic ends?”
  • Gained student users, they don’t have to be physically in Canada anymore to be a student but they can still access or request access to our resources
  • Reaching out to potential users
  • Reviewing regular programs and taking care of COVID at the same time
  • Wondering if word of mouth for the library was passed around in online communications

Are there any other comments/additions that you would like to share from the article?

  • Very much like the desktop method for inexpensive research
  • Another inexpensive method, document analysis, basing your research on documents you were able to pull from the resource you use

Journal Club – The Application of Internet-Based Sources for Public Health Surveillance (Infoveillance): Systematic Review

Meeting Date: September 21, 2020

Presenter: Mark Mueller

Article: Barros JM, Duggan J, Rebholz-Schuhmann D. The Application of Internet-Based Sources for Public Health Surveillance (Infoveillance): Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res 2020;22(3):e13680 https://www.jmir.org/2020/3/e13680/

Questions:

1) What do the authors mean by infodemiology or infoveillance? What does this look like in practice?

• Science of distribution and determinents of information, particularly the internet to inform public health and public policy
• Sharing and searching information
• Scientists using it predict the spread of COVID-19 previously
• Sources used to extract data: social; discussion forums; mobile apps (i.e. COVID-19 tracker app); other sources search queries; news articles; websites; media monitoring systems; web encyclopaedias; online obituaries

2) What is the potential value in using Internet-Based-Resources to study the course of a disease or an outbreak?

• Real-time data and discern health-related concerns; and developed responses
• No infrastructure to obscure information. Less barriers. More representative of various population groups and country-specific phenomenon
• Accelerate resolutions (i.e. treatments, economic resolutions, resource sharing, etc.)
• Insights into how disease is affecting and/or being discussed
• Topic analyses
• Can be used to monitor what information is being shared and when

3) What are the potential limitations in using Internet-Based Resources to study the course of a disease or an outbreak?

• Difficulty accessing the internet (particularly in developing countries) – data may not be complete and knowledge gaps
• Potential that information could be fabricated (misinformation)
• Bots/trolls may make false information/claims
• Information could be lost in translation – semantics could be lost
• Misinformation being shared, Google trends does not provide demographic data

4) Do you think it might be possible to work this research approach into our daily workflow as librarians; particularly for those of us who might be part of a COVID-19 response effort? If so, why? If not, why not?

• Create infographics
• Can detect where the misinformation is coming from – address the misinformation at the point-of-need

5) Could this research approach be applied to other contexts and/or topics related to library work? Example: monitoring other topics within the medical/healthcare community; combating fake news; etc.

• Community trends for topics that come up in the reference queue (i.e. health concerns, new courses)?
• To address misinformation would require professionalization in medicine, ethics, etc. that go beyond our scope

Journal Club: “How do I do that?” a literature review of research data management skill gaps of Canadian health sciences information professionals

Meeting Date: January 27, 2020

Presenter: Kaetlyn Phillips

Article: Fuhr, J. (2019). “How do I do that?” a literature review of research data management skill gaps of Canadian health sciences information professionals. Journal of Canadian Health Libraries Association, 40, 51-69. 10.29173/jchla29371.

Questions:

1) Are you familiar with research data management (RDM)? Have you been asked to start or participate in RDM programs? Do you feel there is a gap in your knowledge?

  • There is absolutely a gap in my knowledge of this topic
  • Only heard the term before, didn’t know everything it pertained to, did want to know about it so the article was a good choice
  • Heard of some of some of the concepts before but wasn’t sure what they meant in context of library work
  • What role do we play, in terms of offering these services for our patrons
  • Knowledge gaps are overwhelming, once you get comfortable with the jargon the process becomes easier as does identifying missing skills
  • Not just us in the libraries, many professions have this problem

2) Do you agree with the list of skills provided in Table 1? Should skills be added? Which ones? Why?

  • Security knowledge or confidentiality and the limitations of de-identified data
  • Seems like a lot to put on a single person
  • When I looked at the skills listed in the article and thought about what it is I do, I felt overwhelmed. I think having an expert is better than pushing it on librarians without training
  • It’s a lot of put on librarian’s without training, needs to be a collaborative process, consulting with a librarian who is a RDM librarian
  • The list of skills looked like a job description, you would need someone to do this full time not just tacked onto existing responsibilities of the existing librarians. Academic institutions are creating Research Data Management positions, so the future of RDM in health sciences could be collaborative as opposed to one librarian doing many roles

3) In your opinion, what role will RDM play into Healthcare’s Evidence based practice?

  • Better organized and available data can make for better studies because more participants’ information can be included for analysis, IF the data uses the same metadata or architecture or even standardized terminology
  • Making metadata available is a definite weakness, making a user’s guide is super helpful so you can understand what you’re looking at
  • Only a couple of people have heard of the data centers in Saskatchewan which are targeting health researchers (e.g. for rare diseases)

4) The article has many suggestions for implementing RDA training. What kind of training would work best for health sciences librarians?

  • Asynchronous but organized, lower stakes less stress, not overwhelming people with all of the possible information
  • Ties back to context, it would depend on the librarian’s skill set, we shouldn’t play down the knowledge and skill set we bring as librarian’s
  • Peer-to-peer but also, given the skill sets mentioned in the article we might already have similar skills that can be applied
  • Quite a few classes in MLIS are only offered once a year so you often miss out if you only want to do your MLIS within the usual timeline (one year)
  • We could advocate of continuing education in our associations
  • There’s a lot of courses on data management and analysis that are for using the data and not for organizing it after the fact or while gathering it
  • There’s lots out there but finding it, finding good quality and getting credit for it is difficult
  • RDM courses that are self-paced and open are needed. Even if iSchools and MLIS programs include courses on RDM, it’s possible that those courses won’t be enough to fill the knowledge gap. Peer to peer professional development would also be beneficial.

5) The author “foresees a trickle-down effect of research data services in health sciences and specialized libraries, regardless of affiliation with a post-secondary institution” (Fuhr, 2019, p.57). Based on your experience and knowledge, do you agree or disagree with the statement?

  • Only if we speak up, scientists have a tendency to silo their data because of how research and promotion is rewarded (the originality of the research and the groundbreaking is rewarded over reproducibility; despite reproducibility being the backbone of science)
  • We’d have to take initiative to get them involved with us
  • We have a relationship with our research department, but it’s a bit of a black box, there’s other services we focus on so it’s also a capacity issue for us even just getting people on board
  • It’s not on our radar
  • Will the grant application process, the necessity of having an RDM process in your application, will that change the playfield?
  • Research has never been the main driver of hospitals
  • The concept of a trickle-down effect seems implausible, or would take a long time to occur.  Within health science organizations, research is often a separate branch outside of the library, so libraries would need to promote the service over being “forced” into it. Within academic health science institutions, RDM is falling under the library’s roles and duties, so consulting with a librarian could be encouraged.

Any other questions? Comments?

Journal Club: What does a librarian do on sabbatical?: researching the IL needs of international students at the University of Zambia (UNZA)

Meeting Date: Nov 29 2019 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm UTC

Presenter: Mary Chipanshi

Background: International students contribute a significant boost to the economy of every university.  It is well documented that students coming to a new university find themselves dealing with different challenges.  The literature has identifies that one of the challenges faced by these students in a new university is navigating the library. It is therefore imperative that academic libraries find strategies to assist these students adjust to their new environment.  In order to accomplish this effectively, librarians and libraries needs to know the student’s prior library experience. This study was conducted at the University of Zambia, using focus groups. A total of 22 students participated in the focus groups.  Students were asked questions related to their experience using UNZA library with regard to searching for information for assignments, using information ethically and evaluating the information. Preliminary results indicate that most of the students use the internet to find resources for their assignments and prefer to consult colleagues instead of a librarian. The library is also viewed more as a reading space than a place they can get resources.  They also understood the importance of crediting resources and plagiarism. The results of this project is of benefit to all those working with international students.

Questions:

1. With the librarian program in UNZA is it an undergrad? What’s the training for the students?

It’s ALA accredited program for undergrad, with that degree you can go do your masters. You have to go out of country to do a masters.

2. Do you have to have the master to be a librarian in the university?

You can work in the library as a librarian (because you have a BA in Library Studies) but to get a promotion you need to have a masters.

3. Would you like to go back and do more research?

Having to self-fund the project meant that it was quite costly, so unfortunately probably not. She would try to get funding if she did it again.

4. Do you how much outreach HINARI does? How often?

They go all over the world to train and they go quite often. They’ve been to Zambia 3 times. Their method is to train one librarian at an institution so that librarian can go and teach the other librarians to train students and faculty. Unfortunately, many librarians don’t have the time, so the faculty members and student don’t know about the services offered by HINARI. Users need id and password to access, which the librarians would need to pass onto to the faculty and students.

5. Is there a website for the library?

The librarians wanted to learn about libguides to push out these tools because the current website is the instituional website.

6. Would you want to do a follow-up study on the library changes after your workshops with the faculty?

Maybe, probably to see what happened with the libguides and kahooit

Thoughts

It’s neat that you can do the undergrad at UNZA

Important to understand how international students understand and use information

Could do a follow-up study here (UofR) on other international students

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?