Social technology in health library practice and outreach
Social technology in health library practice and
Presented for Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Physio Outreach Librarian, I.K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC
July 9, 2007
Goals of this session
Introduce social software to health information professionals
Provide and share personal experiences
Why use technology at all? My view…
Hospital library days as space with journals and books are
almost over (I give it 7-10 years…)
Hospital library mission is to facilitate access and use of
evidence to improve the quality of care
Library needs to train clinicians to access and use evidence
Clinicians don’t have time and resources to locate and evaluate
primary literature – frequently they need help or literature
digests (point-of-care tools)
Hospital librarians become technologists and work closer with
the IT departments
Champions: Stephen Abram, Dean Giustini, David Rothman…
Physio outreach project – whom do we serve?
We serve 1,700 practicing physiotherapists in BC
The challenge is to serve diverse information needs of
practicing health professionals: clinical and research
Social tools to be covered…
Podcasting / Audiocasting
** For more social software in health libraries, see Guistini & Barsky CE class
on social software (2007) >> http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca
What is blog?
A frequent, chronological, and personalized publication of web
Pros of blogs:
No need to know html coding
No need to find server space
Allow interactivity and sharing
How we use a blog?
UBC Physio Info-blog is the central communication tool for the
physio outreach librarian (http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/physio/):
New services and tools, etc.
What is RSS?
Pushed vs. pulled content from blogs and websites
Instead of you going to check for new info – the info comes
How we use RSS feeds?
Physio Blog RSS feed
Mix RSS from medical databases (PubMed and CINAHL) -
RSS feed mixing for Health & Science info (CBC, BBC, NYT,
How we use RSS feeds?
What is podcasting?
Audio files, thrown on RSS feed
Download themselves to the subscribers’ machines
Average size of recording into mp3 is 1MB for one minute
Because of the file sizes (50-60MB), we also use audiocasting –
no automatic downloads
Don’t need iPod
How we use podcasting?
Record local rehabilitation sciences workshops and seminars
Support UBC Physio School systematic reviews course by
recording students’ presentations
Store and preserve the content on UBC institutional repository
We use Audacity - http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ – free open
source software (can run from USB memory)
What is Instant Messaging (IM)?
A system which allows instant text communication between two
or more people through a network
Very popular with NextGens, Generations Y and X (young
How we use IM:
An IM gadget (MeeboMe) is installed on the blog
Personalization with a photo
Found to be pretty popular
Messages are private
What is wiki?
An online resource which allows users to add and edit content
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org
Medicine - http://davidrothman.net/list-of-medical-wikis/ (by
How we use wiki?
Create and share new health information for health librarians -
UBC HealthLib-Wiki - http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca
Eugene Barsky, MLIS
Physiotherapy Outreach Librarian
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
University of British Columbia
Phone: (604) 827-4088
Fax: (604) 822-9122