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1.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC59670
2.  Health information outreach: the land-grant mission 
Service to the state is one of the core principles of the land-grant mission. This concept of service is also fundamental to a significant number of outreach activities in academic health sciences libraries, particularly those libraries affiliated with the public land-grant universities. The Dana Medical Library at the University of Vermont has a lengthy tradition of outreach to health care providers and health care consumers of the State of Vermont. Building on the foundation of the land-grant institution—which grew out of federal legislation introduced in the mid nineteenth century by Justin Morrill, Vermont's congressional representative—the Dana Medical Library has based its outreach activities on its dedication of service to the state in the promotion of healthy citizens through information dissemination in support of health care delivery. Reengineering library services designed to meet the specific information needs of its diverse clientele, partnering with disparate health care organizations, and relying on fees for service to expand its outreach activities, the Dana Medical Library has redefined the concept of health information outreach for the new millennium.
PMCID: PMC35257  PMID: 11055303
3.  Information needs of rural health professionals: a review of the literature 
This review analyzes the existing research on the information needs of rural health professionals and relates it to the broader information-needs literature to establish whether the information needs of rural health professionals differ from those of other health professionals. The analysis of these studies indicates that rural health practitioners appear to have the same basic needs for patient-care information as their urban counterparts, and that both groups rely on colleagues and personal libraries as their main sources of information. Rural practitioners, however, tend to make less use of journals and online databases and ask fewer clinical questions; a difference that correlates with geographic and demographic factors. Rural practitioners experience pronounced barriers to information access including lack of time, isolation, inadequate library access, lack of equipment, lack of skills, costs, and inadequate Internet infrastructure. Outreach efforts to this group of underserved health professionals must be sustained to achieve equity in information access and to change information-seeking behaviors.
PMCID: PMC35256  PMID: 11055302
4.  Clarifying the abstracts of systematic literature reviews* 
Background: There is a small body of research on improving the clarity of abstracts in general that is relevant to improving the clarity of abstracts of systematic reviews.
Objectives: To summarize this earlier research and indicate its implications for writing the abstracts of systematic reviews.
Method: Literature review with commentary on three main features affecting the clarity of abstracts: their language, structure, and typographical presentation.
Conclusions: The abstracts of systematic reviews should be easier to read than the abstracts of medical research articles, as they are targeted at a wider audience. The aims, methods, results, and conclusions of systematic reviews need to be presented in a consistent way to help search and retrieval. The typographic detailing of the abstracts (type-sizes, spacing, and weights) should be planned to help, rather than confuse, the reader.
PMCID: PMC35254  PMID: 11055300
5.  Evidence-based librarianship: an overview 
Objective: To demonstrate how the core characteristics of both evidence-based medicine (EBM) and evidence-based health care (EBHC) can be adapted to health sciences librarianship.
Method: Narrative review essay involving development of a conceptual framework. The author describes the central features of EBM and EBHC. Following each description of a central feature, the author then suggests ways that this feature applies to health sciences librarianship.
Results: First, the decision-making processes of EBM and EBHC are compatible with health sciences librarianship. Second, the EBM and EBHC values of favoring rigorously produced scientific evidence in decision making are congruent with the core values of librarianship. Third, the hierarchical levels of evidence can be applied to librarianship with some modifications. Library researchers currently favor descriptive-survey and case-study methods over systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, or other higher levels of evidence. The library literature nevertheless contains diverse examples of randomized controlled trials, controlled-comparison studies, and cohort studies conducted by health sciences librarians.
Conclusions: Health sciences librarians are confronted with making many practical decisions. Evidence-based librarianship offers a decision-making framework, which integrates the best available research evidence. By employing this framework and the higher levels of research evidence it promotes, health sciences librarians can lay the foundation for more collaborative and scientific endeavors.
PMCID: PMC35250  PMID: 11055296
9.  Providing consumer health information in the rural setting: Planetree Health Resource Center's approach 
Both lifestyle and geography make the delivery of consumer health information in the rural setting unique. The Planetree Health Resource Center in The Dalles, Oregon, has served the public in a rural setting for the past eight years. It is a community-based consumer health library, affiliated with a small rural hospital, Mid-Columbia Medical Center. One task of providing consumer health information in rural environments is to be in relationship with individuals in the community. Integration into community life is very important for credibility and sustainability. The resource center takes a proactive approach and employs several different outreach efforts to deepen its relationship with community members. It also works hard to foster partnerships for improved health information delivery with other community organizations, including area schools. This paper describes Planetree Health Resource Center's approach to rural outreach.
PMCID: PMC35261  PMID: 11055307
10.  Health care, information needs, and outreach: reaching Ohio's rural citizens 
As a rural state, Ohio has a vital interest in addressing rural health and information needs. NetWellness is a Web-based consumer health information service that focuses on the needs of the residents of Ohio. Health sciences faculty from the state's three Carnegie Research I universities—University of Cincinnati, Case Western Reserve University, and The Ohio State University—create and evaluate content and provide Ask an Expert service to all visitors. Through partnerships at the state and local levels, involving public, private, commercial, and noncommercial organizations, NetWellness has grown from a regional demonstration project in 1995 to a key statewide service. Collaboration with public libraries, complemented by alliances with kindergarten through twelfth grade agencies, makes NetWellness Ohio's essential health information resource.
PMCID: PMC35260  PMID: 11055306
11.  Library outreach: addressing Utah's “Digital Divide” 
A “Digital Divide” in information and technological literacy exists in Utah between small hospitals and clinics in rural areas and the larger health care institutions in the major urban area of the state. The goals of the outreach program of the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah address solutions to this disparity in partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine—Midcontinental Region, the Utah Department of Health, and the Utah Area Health Education Centers. In a circuit-rider approach, an outreach librarian offers classes and demonstrations throughout the state that teach information-access skills to health professionals. Provision of traditional library services to unaffiliated health professionals is integrated into the library's daily workload as a component of the outreach program. The paper describes the history, methodology, administration, funding, impact, and results of the program.
PMCID: PMC35259  PMID: 11055305
12.  AHEC library services: from circuit rider to virtual librarian 
The North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Library and Information Services (NC AHEC LIS) Network provides library outreach services to rural health care providers in all nine AHEC regions of North Carolina. Over the last twenty-five years, the AHEC and university-based librarians have collaborated to create a model program for support of community-based clinical education and information access for rural health care providers. Through several collaborative projects, they have supported Internet access for rural health clinics. The NC AHEC Digital Library—under development by NC AHEC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, East Carolina University, and Wake Forest University—will further extend access to electronic biomedical information and resources to health professionals in a statewide digital library.
PMCID: PMC35258  PMID: 11055304
13.  The evolution of rural outreach from Package Library to Grateful Med: introduction to the symposium 
Outreach is now a prevailing activity in health sciences libraries. As an introduction to a series of papers on current library outreach to rural communities, this paper traces the evolution of such activities by proponents in health sciences libraries from 1924 to 1992. Definitions of rural and outreach are followed by a consideration of the expanding audience groups. The evolution in approaches covers the package library and enhancements in extension service, library development, circuit librarianship, and self-service arrangements made possible by such programs as the Georgia Interactive Network (GaIN) and Grateful Med.
PMCID: PMC35255  PMID: 11055301
14.  Public library consumer health information pilot project: results of a National Library of Medicine evaluation 
In October 1998, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched a pilot project to learn about the role of public libraries in providing health information to the public and to generate information that would assist NLM and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) in learning how best to work with public libraries in the future. Three regional medical libraries (RMLs), eight resource libraries, and forty-one public libraries or library systems from nine states and the District of Columbia were selected for participation. The pilot project included an evaluation component that was carried out in parallel with project implementation. The evaluation ran through September 1999. The results of the evaluation indicated that participating public librarians were enthusiastic about the training and information materials provided as part of the project and that many public libraries used the materials and conducted their own outreach to local communities and groups. Most libraries applied the modest funds to purchase additional Internet-accessible computers and/or upgrade their health-reference materials. However, few of the participating public libraries had health information centers (although health information was perceived as a top-ten or top-five topic of interest to patrons). Also, the project generated only minimal usage of NLM's consumer health database, known as MEDLINEplus, from the premises of the monitored libraries (patron usage from home or office locations was not tracked). The evaluation results suggested a balanced follow-up by NLM and the NN/LM, with a few carefully selected national activities, complemented by a package of targeted activities that, as of January 2000, are being planned, developed, or implemented. The results also highlighted the importance of building an evaluation component into projects like this one from the outset, to assure that objectives were met and that evaluative information was available on a timely basis, as was the case here.
PMCID: PMC35252  PMID: 11055298
15.  Interlibrary loan in primary access libraries: challenging the traditional view 
Introduction: Primary access libraries serve as the foundation of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) interlibrary loan (ILL) hierarchy, yet few published reports directly address the important role these libraries play in the ILL system. This may reflect the traditional view that small, primary access libraries are largely users of ILL, rather than important contributors to the effectiveness and efficiency of the national ILL system.
Objective: This study was undertaken to test several commonly held beliefs regarding ILL system use by primary access libraries.
Hypotheses: Three hypotheses were developed. H1: Colorado and Wyoming primary access libraries comply with the recommended ILL guideline of adhering to a hierarchical structure, emphasizing local borrowing. H2: The closures of two Colorado Council of Medical Librarians (CCML) primary access libraries in 1996 resulted in twenty-three Colorado primary access libraries' borrowing more from their state resource library in 1997. H3: The number of subscriptions held by Colorado and Wyoming primary access libraries is positively correlated with the number of items they loan and negatively correlated with the number of items they borrow.
Methods: The hypotheses were tested using the 1992 and 1997 DOCLINE and OCLC data of fifty-four health sciences libraries, including fifty primary access libraries, two state resource libraries, and two general academic libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. The ILL data were obtained electronically and analyzed using Microsoft Word 98, Microsoft Excel 98, and JMP 3.2.2.
Results: CCML primary access libraries comply with the recommended guideline to emphasize local borrowing by supplying each other with the majority of their ILLs, instead of overburdening libraries located at higher levels in the ILL hierarchy (H1). The closures of two CCML primary access libraries appear to have affected the entire ILL system, resulting in a greater volume of ILL activity for the state resource library and other DOCLINE libraries higher up in the ILL hierarchy and highlighting the contribution made by CCML primary access libraries (H2). CCML primary access libraries borrow and lend in amounts that are proportional to their collection size, rather than overtaxing libraries at higher levels in the ILL hierarchy with large numbers of requests (H3).
Limitations: The main limitations of this study were the small sample size and the use of data collected for another purpose, the CCML ILL survey.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that there is little evidence to support several commonly held beliefs regarding ILL system use by primary access libraries. In addition to validating the important contributions made by primary access libraries to the national ILL system, baseline data that can be used to benchmark current practice performance are provided.
PMCID: PMC35251  PMID: 11055297
16.  Clinical librarianship 
PMCID: PMC35263  PMID: 11055309
17.  Factors associated with successful answering of clinical questions using an information retrieval system* 
Objectives: Despite the growing use of online databases by clinicians, there has been very little research documenting how effectively they are used. This study assessed the ability of medical and nurse-practitioner students to answer clinical questions using an information retrieval system. It also attempted to identify the demographic, experience, cognitive, personality, search mechanics, and user-satisfaction factors associated with successful use of a retrieval system.
Methods: Twenty-nine students completed questionnaires of clinical and computer experience as well as tests of cognitive abilities and personality type. They were then administered three clinical questions to answer in a medical library setting using the MEDLINE database and electronic and print full-text resources.
Results: Medical students were able to answer more questions correctly than nurse-practitioner students before and after searching, but both had comparable improvements in the number of correct questions before and after searching. Successful ability to answer questions was also associated with having experience in literature searching and higher standardized test-score percentiles.
Conclusions: Medical and nurse-practitioner students obtained comparable benefits in the ability to answer clinical questions from use of the information retrieval system. Future research must examine strategies that improve successful search and retrieval of clinical questions posed by clinicians in practice.
PMCID: PMC35253  PMID: 11055299
20.  Expediting the transfer of evidence into practice: building clinical partnerships* 
A librarian/clinician partnership was fostered in one hospital through the formation of the Evidence-based Practice Committee, with an ulterior goal of facilitating the transfer of evidence into practice. The paper will describe barriers to evidence-based practice and outline the committee's strategies for overcoming these barriers, including the development and promotion of a Web-based guide to evidence-based practice specifically designed for clinicians (health professionals). Educational strategies for use of the Web-based guide will also be addressed. Advantages of this partnership are that the skills of librarians in meeting the needs of clinicians are maximized. The evidence-based practice skills of clinicians are honed and librarians make a valuable contribution to the knowledgebase of the clinical staff. The knowledge acquired through the partnership by both clinicians and librarians will increase the sophistication of the dialogue between the two groups and in turn will expedite the transfer of evidence into practice.
PMCID: PMC35233  PMID: 10928710
21.  Structuring the pre-search reference interview: a useful technique for handling clinical questions* 
Objectives: To explore whether structuring a literature search request form according to an evidence-based medicine (EBM) anatomy elicits more information, improves precision of search results, and is acceptable to participating librarians.
Methods: Multicenter before-and-after study involved six different libraries. Data from 195 minimally structured forms collected over four months (Phase 1) were compared with data from 185 EBM-structured forms collected over a further four-month period following a brief training intervention (Phase 2). Survey of librarians' attitudes toward using the EBM-structured forms was conducted early during Phase 2.
Results: 380 request forms, EBM-structured and minimally structured, were analyzed using SPSS. A statistically significant Pearson correlation was found between use of the EBM-structured form and complexity of the search strategy (P = 0.002). The correlation between clinical requests handled by the EBM-structured form and fewer items retrieved was also statistically significant (P = 0.028). However, librarians rated minimally structured forms more highly than EBM-structured forms against all dimensions except informativeness.
Conclusions: Although use of the EBM-structured forms is associated with more precise searches and more detailed search strategies, considerable work remains on making these forms acceptable to both librarians and users. Nevertheless, with increased familiarity and improved training, information retrieval benefits could be translated into more effective search practice.
PMCID: PMC35232  PMID: 10928709

Results 1-25 (76)