Internet Resources for Hospital Libraries
Frequently, hospital librarians are solo librarians with limited resources to meet the electronic needs of their patrons. This web index is a collection of web resources that hospital libraries would find helpful.
To help fulfill the information needs of hospital library patrons.
There are three ways to find information:
Subjects covered run from AIDS to Writing Guides.
ILS531 Professor YQ Liu
April 25, 2005
I had planned on a full compilation of resources for hospital libraries, for I had an internship in a hospital library where the solo librarian believed her most precious commodity was time—and it was in short supply. I wanted to create a resource that solo librarians could easily use, either by link or copying the materials. Once I started to compile the various resources, I learned that I would wisely limit my choices to general web sites—for not all libraries would have access to the databases, references, and resources at Southern Connecticut State University’s Buley Library. I was also bound by the space and time limit.
I chose to use subject headings that one would find in a health science library and the framework that is required of it—the Medical Subject Headings of the National Library of Medicine. I also wanted to include general reference links, like Babelfish.com and XE.com, for they are useful where I am currently employed—a library of a pharmaceutical corporation. The patrons of a hospital library are a varied lot, from physicians and administration, to nursing assistants and the general public. The librarian must choose resources in anticipation of meeting the information needs of all the patrons.
The first step I took in preparation was to look at other web resources indexes, as provided by Professor Liu. I also used Teoma.com, Dogpile.com, and AltaVista.com to search other indexes. I saw many examples of how not to compile an index: dead links, awkward layout, and inelegant planning. I also looked at some larger sites, as listed on the references page on my site, to see how respected institutions organized their indexes. The most favorite part of this project was diving through all the resources and deciding which to include. I tried to limit myself to five or six resources at this point, because I figured I would run into some technological glitches which would sap my time, and this did happen.
What I did not expect to happen was the inconsistency with which sites name their pages, including the United States Government. This was the second biggest challenge I faced: to make the information accessible for the librarian and patron, but to have it remain loyal to the substance of the page. I tried to unify the language, but am aware that some inconsistencies still remain.
I would have liked to have included more open access materials, as well as e-books, but ran out of time and space if I included all that I wanted. I didn’t even include the subject Bioterrorism, a hot topic now, for I felt that with all the political changes occurring, the resources would fluctuate as well. Politics is also why I tried to exclude certain organizations, like the American Medical Association. After speaking with several librarians and patrons, I felt that there are many mixed feelings about certain groups and that I was not qualified to determine whether an organization should be included. When I have included a group, it is because they followed the protocol of Health on the Net Foundation. HoN has the mission of guiding people to useful and reliable health information online.
The less-than-successful part of this project was in the transfer to a web site. I stayed up too late and went into work late a couple of days, working out all the bugs: cascading style sheets that flowed like cement; .gif files that I referred to in the style sheet, but could not find in my computer; learning that bookmarks within a word document do not get pasted when you copy the material into a FrontPage interface; trying to do this calmly and still manage to pack four lunches every day, get the laundry put away, and get healthy again. I would have preferred a beige or white background, but this is how it worked out.
I have tried to incorporate many of the valuable suggestions that classmates made during the critique period of the class. I plan on expanding the scope after the semester and becoming one with HTML to beat this FrontPage slavery.
BUBL Information Service (2005). BUBL Link Catalog. Retrieved April 20, 2005 from http://bubl.ac.uk/.
Cleveland D. & Cleveland A. (2001). Introduction to Indexing and Abstracting. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
Columbia University (2005). Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library. Retrieved April 20, 2005 from http://library.cpmc.columbia.edu/hsl/.
Health on the Net Foundation (2005). Retrieved April 20, 2005 from http://www.hon.ch/.
National Library of Medicine (2005). Medical Subject Headings. Retrieved April 20, 2005 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html.
UCSF Medical Center. Kalmanovitz Library. Retrieved April 20, 2005 from http://www.library.ucsf.edu/.
University of Michigan (2005). Taubman Medical Library. Retrieved April 20, 2005 from http://www.lib.umich.edu/taubman/.
Yale University (2005). Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library. Retrieved April 20, 2005 from http://info.med.yale.edu/library/.
Send mail to shahm3@Southernct.edu with questions or comments about this web site.