Library access for nurses
pallen at tcccom.net
Sun Feb 22 14:27:40 PST 1998
This inquiry is posed to several listservs; please excuse the duplication.
I just finished reading a series of articles in Nursing Standard which were
written for the Royal College for Nursing campaign to improve nurses'
access to library and information services (Oct 29, 1997-Jan 21, 1998).
This series ran for 11 weeks, and included reader responses in the last few
articles. Nurses wrote of their difficulties in accessing library
resources, while some librarians asked why more nurses didn't use the
resources which were available. The series was based on these five
principles of good practice:
*Every nurse should have access to a free library service funded by her or
his employer which contains appropriate literature and multimedia resources.
*Library services should have flexible opening hours, and be staffed by
*Nurses should have equal rights, similar to other healthcare
professionals, to paid study time to update their practice.
*Every nurse should have access to and training on the Internet and
appropriate databases including Cochrane and the Centre for Reviews and
Dissemination (source of systematic reviews of the literature)
*Every nurse should be educated in systems and services to support
Recently, members of the MEDLIB-L listserv have debated how much service
hospital libraries should provide to nurses who are taking courses
(services in support of patient care is not questioned). Some feel that
library service for coursework should be the responsibility of the academic
institution, while others suggest that it's good for the hospital to
support the nurse students because this leads to improved care. Some
librarians acknowledged the problems associated with library support for
distance learners and commuting long distances for on-campus courses. Also,
there is the issue of who provides library services for nurses in the
community who are not hospital employees. A lot of the debate focused on
inadequate/declining hospital library budgets. Even if the libraians
wanted to do more, many did not have the time.
I'm wondering if UK members of these listservs were aware of the Nursing
Standard campaign. If yes, do you feel it has made a difference?
As for U.S. and Canadian nurses, do you think a similar campaign is needed
in north America? If yes, why?
And, what about other continents? Do you think your situation is better or
worse than other parts of the world?
All: What barriers to information access do you face in your daily
practice? Do you feel you have access to high quality library resources?
If yes, do you value and use these resources?
I'm trying to gather input from online nurses to present to a group
representing several U.S. and Canadian nursing and library organizations,
to use in a proposal to this group. I must say I was impressed by the
Nursing Standard series!
I will try and summarize your responses for all the listservs, so feel free
to use the mailto address below, instead of responding to the listserv.
Thanks - Peg
Margaret (Peg) Allen, MLS-AHIP mailto:pallen at tcccom.net
Resource Librarian Consultant for Cinahl Information Systems, Inc.
Project Director, Northwoods HealthNet, Northern Wisconsin AHEC, Inc.
PO Box 2, 308 Kann, Stratford, WI 54484-0002
(715)687-4976 or (715)687-2287 Fax:(715)687-4976
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