Issue No. 4 (Winter 2000)

NLHLA Newsletter Logo

Table of Contents

News In the News
Spotlight On The Big Move Upcoming Events
Healthy Newfoundland The Spider’s Web
Health Knowledge Network Wanted


Our Members

Not much to report for comings and goings. Dianne Cmor left her contractual position at  the Health Sciences Library and has started her new tenure-track position as Information Services Librarian at the Queen Elizabeth II Library.

Katie Lawton has decided to leave her position with St. Clare’s Hospital. Steve Nolan will be continuing as her replacement for the time being. We would like to wish Katie good luck and thank her for all her work with the Association.

Kim Hancock has returned from her maternity leave and resumed her duties at Western Memorial Hospital.

Wendy Rodgers finished her contract as the Consumer Health Information Project Coordinator on March 31. Wendy is getting married in August and moving to Ontario. Her position will now be filled on part-time basis. Good luck Wendy.

NLHLA Web Page

The latest addition to our web page is a list of links to Canadian conferences that might be of interest to members. Of special note are the two national conferences that are being held in St. John’s this year. As always, comments, criticisms and suggestions are welcomed.

NLHLA Listserv

The Association now has a listserv so that members may communicate with one another without having to remember everyone’s email address. Please feel free to use the list for all your library related discussions. It will only be as good as you, the members, make it.

It is a members-only list, and all members were automatically subscribed when it was set up. To post a message, simply send your email to And remember to be particularly careful when replying to messages, to verify whether you are emailing an individual or posting to the group.


The Big Move by Cathy Ryan

The CNS Learning Resource Centre is finally settled in its new home at Southcott Hall. The Big Move took place in August 1999, which left us scrambling to get things up and running for the student influx in September. After a few consultations with the shelf assemblers, we got the shelving in place. Then we waded into a sea of moving cartonsand got to work! When things were all in place, we were really pleased with our nice new furniture and bright surroundings.

Our new Library Software Program, Libraryworld, which was installed at the time of our move, gave us some anxious moments, as it did not seem to be welcoming our old catalogue records. With the help of our computer support hero, we eventually persuaded it
to do so. Meanwhile, the Computer Lab was shaping up. The wiring was completed, computers and printers were added to the network and the new furniture was installed. We were ready for business!

We are delighted with our new facilities, and would be happy to show them off to anyone who would like to visit us.


Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador by Wendy Rodgers

The Advisory Committee for Consumer Health Information and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information recently launched Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador.The web site and accompanying print directory are the result of a one-year pilot project intended to enhance the availability of health information to consumers throughout the province.

While there is a considerable amount of consumer health information available in Newfoundland and Labrador, with resources ranging from basic data to in-depth, research-oriented information in various formats, one finds that these resources are largely aimed at client groups in specific settings. Such settings include hospitals,
libraries, and health and community centres. Despite this wealth of information, the province has, until recently, lacked a central access point to coordinate the dissemination of consumer health information. This is precisely the problem that the Consumer Health Information Project has addressed.

The project saw the creation of two products, the first being an electronic database of provincial health associations and resources available within the province, from which a consumer health directory has been printed and distributed.

The second product is a consumer health information site on the World Wide Web, a central access point for those seeking quality health information both within the province and on the Internet. The directory mentioned above is available on the site, in addition to health information pamphlets obtained from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services, the Janeway Child Health Centre, Health and Community Services – Eastern Region and Health and Community Services – St. John’s Region. Moreover, the site features a catalogue of quality consumer health sites already on the Internet. All site resources can be searched via keyword or by browsing an A to Z
Subject Index.

The Web site initially went online in December 1999, and was officially launched on March 3, 2000, at the A. C. Hunter Library in St. John’s. Minister of Health Roger Grimes officiated at the launch.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information administered the project on behalf of the Advisory Committee for Consumer Health Information, an interest group composed of professionals from government, academic and public organizations. The Canadian Mental Health Association, Newfoundland Division, an Advisory Committee member, secured funding for the project through a grant from the federal Health
Info-Structure Support Program, an initiative of Health Canada’s Office of Health and the Information Highway. Librarian and project coordinator Wendy Rodgers developed the database, directory and web site.

The pilot project concluded in March 2000. A maintenance plan has been implemented to ensure that the site is updated, but there are currently no plans to further develop the site and the project.

The project concluded with an evaluation of the products developed and an examination of the feasibility of future projects. The Committee hopes that the pilot project will act as a foundation for the development of a provincial consumer health library and information service, possibly including a walk-in facility and/or toll-free information and referral line.


The Newfoundland And Labrador Health Knowledge Network – An Update by George Beckett

Following upon the proposal for a Newfoundland and Labrador Health Knowledge Network (NLHKN), which was circulated broadly in the health sciences library community in 1999 and with support from the Faculty of Medicine and sponsors such as the Newfoundland & Labrador Centre For Health Information, the Health Sciences Library of Memorial University of Newfoundland has introduced the NLHKN as a pilot project for 2000.

Personal membership in the NLHKN is $100 per year pro-rated to the start of
the membership. Corporate membership costs depend upon size of the
organizaton. Memberships are only available to health professionals and
organizations resident in Newfoundland & Labrador.

NLHKN – The Project

The NLHKN project is based upon the following ingredients:

  • Use of the increasingly popular Internet to deliver published information and services
  • Provision of access to bibliographic and full text databases via the WWW
  • Use of a mixture of local and external database sources
  • Document delivery services and client support provided by the Memorial University of Newfoundland Health Sciences Library
  • Training & support to assist members of the network
  • Potential to expand services and resources to the public in the future
  • Includes an evaluation process to assess usefulness of the project and its future  viability

Project Goals

The fundamental objectives of the NLHKN are:

  • Provide effective and equitable access to health knowledge based information throughout the province
  • Improved access to document delivery services and full text
  • Training local health providers to use services & resources
  • Reducing individual organization costs by sharing the costs of expensive resources and services

Resources Now Available

As of April, 2000 the NLHKN offers the following resources to its personal and corporate members:




CINAHL Nursing and allied health bibliographic index 1982 – date
Cochrane Library Evidence based medicine and health care bibliographic index and full text Complete to date
HealthStar Hospital and health administration bibliographic index Rolling current ten years
MEDLINE Medicine, health and related topics 1966 – date
Document Delivery Direct document delivery service from the Health Sciences Library
Member training and technical support Provided by arrangement by the Health Sciences Library

In addition to these resources we are looking at options for providing access to full text of basic health textbooks and journals.

Challenges & Issues

The NLHKN is a pilot project which is currently funded through calendar year 2000. To continue into the future it needs to demonstrate that it does have a positive effect on the information needs of health professionals and that it is financially viable. Librarians are
encouraged to discuss with their managers about corporate memberships in the NLHKN. If corporate membership is not possible, then you are asked to distribute information about NLHKN to interested health professionals.

The current selection of databases is limited by available funding. With more funding more access can be purchased.

In addition to funding issues, the NLHKN project has also demonstrated the difficulties in dealing with the lack of widely available Internet access throughout the province (although this situation is improving), and the problems encountered in dealing with a variety of firewall and Internet proxy server configurations.

For More Information

Visit the following sites to find out about NLHKN and some of the possibilities for the future.

Or contact George Beckett at the Health Sciences Library, phone: 737-6670, e-mail


English Report

A copy of CLA’s response to The Role of the National Archives of Canada and the National Library of Canada by John English (comonly referred to as the English Report) is now available online. It also includes comments on both A Sense of Place, A Sense of Being, the ninth report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, and on
the government’s response to the Standing Committee’s report.


Canada Book Day

Canada Book Day is April 27th.


Details on the following conferences can be found on the Lists of Library Conferences section of our homepage:

NLHLA: April 28
NLLA: May 6
CHLA: May 5-11
WILU: May 8-10
APLA: May 25-28
CLA: June 21-25
Access Y2K: September 21-23
Eastern Horizons: October 19-22


  • Ideas for workshops.
  • Authors for future articles for the next NLHLA newsletter (Fall 2000).

Contact any member of the executive.


Canadian Health Network

The Canadian Health Network is an internet information source which focuses on health promotion and disease prevention. It is funded by Health Canada, and is a partnership
with over 400 non-profit health organizations. It includes information on 18 health topics and 8 demographic groups. Access to the more than 5000 resources is via subject headings or a search engine.

The topics include: Active Living, AIDS/HIV, Alternative Health, Cancer, Determinants of Health, Environmental Health, Health Promotion, Health System, Healthy Eating, Heart Health, Injury Prevention, Mental Health, Relationships, Sexuality/Reproductive Health, Substance Use/Addictions, Tobacco, Violence, and Workplace Health.

The groups include: Aboriginal Peoples, Children, Ethnic Groups, Men, People with Disabilities, Seniors, Women, and Youth.

featherThis Issue was compiled by Heather Roberts and Pamela Morgan, and was edited by Pamela Morgan.

This page was last updated on April 14, 2000.