14 October 2007

Take 5

Bringing research and library services to front-line staff in a community hospital

My colleague Christine Shaw-Daigle, librarian at Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg, has co-published with that hospital's director of research a paper on bringing library services to front-line staff. "Take 5" appeared in the September 2007 issue of Canadian Nurse.

It describes a six-month pilot project in which the authors made themselves available to two busy acute care units for a 45-minute period twice a month. Staff were encouraged to take five minutes from their schedules to discuss their library needs and research ideas. In addition to handouts and recent books and journals, the authors provided competency packages they had developed for nurses. Each package contained a bibliography of current articles, book chapters, books, and websites.

Hospital staff responded positively to this form of outreach. One of the primary benefits of the Take 5 project was the development of a relationship marketing strategy for the library. Interaction with the staff in their place of work improved their knowledge of library resources and services.

The project continues and has expanded to include other hospital units. The competency packages were "a definite hit" with the staff. Library use has increased. Success at Victoria General Hospital has led to the implementation of similar projects at other community hospitals in Winnipg, all of which are served by the University of Manitoba Health Sciences Libraries. The most recent project has been the creation of a Nursing Toolkit, which brings together appropriate resources in a handy format.

Congratulations to Christine, who managed to get the first library-related article into Canadian Nurse in 26 years. "It's lonely in the library" appeared way back in October, 1981. Given the length of time it took to get such recognition for a hospital library's usefulness to nurses, it would have been nice if Christine's article had been listed in the online table of contents.

And that's not the Canadian Nurses Association's only web tangle. The site devoted to their journal, Canadian-nurse.com, is where mid-nineties web page design came to die. Bad enough that it loads sluggishly and that the look is dated. The problem is that there really is little useful information to be had here. No back issues are available online. Why bother having a journal website at all! The same goes for the French-language version, Infirmière canadienne. We find an "Indexes" page (English) and an "Archives" page (French), each offering meagre fare: nothing but PDF versions of the journal's annual indexes for 2004-2006. One is forced to turn to PubMed or CINAHL to find a decent list of articles to be found in Canadian Nurse. Of these, only a few have abstracts, which seem to be rarer than mangoes in Manitoba. Please, CNA, do something about your website. It's badly in need of an overhaul.