Eahil public health_information_group_report_on_activities_2009
EAHIL Public Health Information Group - PHIG 7th February 2010
Report of Activities to the EAHIL Board, Year 2009
1. Report on the workshop and sessions in Dublin 2009
The PHIG Meeting on June 3rd gathered a group of 12 enthusiastic colleagues around Europe. We
discussed – among other things – the public health concepts definition survey, which was launched
after the Helsinki 2008 PHIG meeting: Tomas Allen (WHO, Switzerland) has been collecting
definitions of public health concepts in different countries. Some of the results have been published
on the PHIG homepage; a complimentary survey will be conducted in due course .
Another main topic of the meeting was the HINARI programme (www.who.int/hinari/en/). Gaby
Caro (WHO, Switzerland) presented the homepage and the issue of how PHIG or EAHIL could
promote HINARI was discussed.
Patient and consumer health information was highlighted in the meeting: a suggestion by Ivana
Truccolo (Italy) to form a separate special interest group for patient information instigated a lively
discussion. It was decided for the time being not to form a new SIG, but instead to emphasize
patient and consumer health information issues within PHIG. The decision was based on the concern
that there would be two overlapping SIGs.
A survey among PHIG-members was conducted this issue as agreed in Dublin, The results supported
the decision made by the meeting: there is no need for a separate consumer health special interest
group, but instead patient and consumer health issues will be highlighted within PHIG.
The PHIG Meeting minutes have been added to the PHIG homepages (http://www.eahil.net/PHIG-
One of the Public Health Information Group’s highlights of the Workshop was the Tips for the
Trainer of Library Courses Continuing Education Course by Tomas Allen (WHO, Switzerland). The
course raised a lot of interest and was fully booked. Participants obtained many tips and new ideas –
and also a chance to share their own teaching experiences, which was very inspiring.
In the last plenary session, public health was on the agenda again when Tomas Allen gave an
excellent presentation regarding how local needs are shaping a global approach in WHO Libraries.
2. Work we did in our officer's meeting in Helsinki November 2009
The EAHIL Public Health Information Group had a small group work meeting in Helsinki, Finland, in
November, in the context of the 80th Anniversary Seminar of the Finnish Research Library
Association. The meeting was held at the National Library of Health Sciences Terkko: participants
were the PHIG’s Co-chairs Päivi Pekkarinen and Susan Thomas and the PHIG’s secretary Katri Larmo.
The agenda started with an important issue for our group to think about: PHIG has been invited to
become a partner to work with the WHO Global Health Library (GHL), especially the “Hot Topics”
part of it (www.globalhealthlibrary.net). We are very delighted about the suggestion. Päivi and Sue
have been negotiating with Tony McSéan regarding the GHL partnership and we shall keep PHIG
members informed with more details as the discussions move on. It was decided that Sue and Tony
would have a meeting in London in early January. This meeting has taken place and further
developments in the Global Health Library partnership work are in hand.
At this meeting we also planned the survey for PHIG members to decide on the issue of a special
consumer health group. The survey was conducted between 28th January and 6th February 2010.
The officers also discussed changes to the PHIG's homepage on the web, and how we would
report the findings of public health definitions survey by Tomas Allen.
4. Global Health Library
Sue and Tony had a meeting about the Global Health Library parnetship 22nd January 2010.
1. WHO is still committed to this project and are likely to host the information on their server,
but if this does not happen then MLA would do so.
2. The approach taken to the project is a pragmatic one. It is essentially based on a ‘Frequently
Asked Question’ principle, similar to reference sheets developed and used in the British
Medical Association library service following a reference type enquiry that had been
received by a member of reference library staff. ‘Do it once and share’ is the basic concept.
3. It was agreed that the Global Health Library was not unique in its concept, and that building
on the work being done elsewhere would be appropriate and indeed sensible. Topics would
be those of global health significance. The partnership would agree the topics with WHO –
there are no set topics or areas as yet agreed.
4. There is no suggestion that the factsheets being put together on topics would need to be
comprehensive, and all information and links to sources would be English language. (PHIG
could consider at a later stage whether we wanted to add additional links in other languages
useful to our members.)
Next Steps and recommendations.
1. A project plan needed to be agreed, and Tony McSean would organise a teleconference via
MLA to do this.
2. Public Health Information Group will make a final decision as the Groups’s involvement
following this teleconference. The officers recommended that this is done on a pilot basis,
with the officers initially undertaking the work, so that the true extent of the time
commitment can be assessed. A further recommendation would be that if we conclude that
being involved in this partnership is valuable to the Public Health Information Group, we
should do so.
3. Tony McSean to be part of our business meeting at the EAHIL conference in Lisbon, and to
update our members about this initiative and invite them to participate.
4. The EAHIL Board is asked to approve this phased approach to the PHIG involvement in the
Global Health Library
3. Web site
Meeting reports have been added to PHIG’s web page. The web page’s links have been moved to the
social bookmarking tool Delicious (http://delicious.com/EAHIL_PHIG). All PHIG and EAHIL members
are invited to participate in updating the PHIG's Delicious links. The idea is to collectively collect the
links most relevant to our work in the public health information field.
5. Articles for JEAHIL
1/2010 News from the Public Health Information Group, PHIG Officers Helsinki Meeting, 27th
4/2009 The importance of being health literate – IFLA Milan, August 2009, by Päivi Pekkarinen
3/2009 The Public Health Information Group at the EAHIL 2009 Dublin Workshop
2/2009 Public Health Information Special Interest Group: Dublin Calling!
1/2009 The Scientific Consultation Group (SCG) Meeting of Pan-European Public Health Associations,
Federations, Societies and Organizations, by Päivi Pekkarinen and Sue Thomas
6. Planning for Lisbon conference
We are planning to have a business meeting, and, if possible and an open session jointly with the
business meeting. In this case we prefer to have the meeting during the conference. One of the main
issues to discuss in the business meeting and in the open session is the Global Health Library
Partnership. The EAHIL Board is asked to support our request to the Lisbon conference organizers
for the PHIG meeting to be scheduled during the conference programme.
Païvi Pekkarinen, PHIG Co-Chair, paivi.pekkarinen (at) helsinki.fi
Helsinki University Library, Meilahti Campus Library – Terkko, Finland
Sue Thomas, PHIG Co-Chair, susan.thomas (at) wales.gis.gov.uk
Welsh Assembly Government, Health Promotion Library, Cardiff, Wales
Katri Larmo, PHIG Secretary, katri.larmo (at) helsinki.fi
Helsinki University Library, Meilahti Campus Library – Terkko, Finland