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Librarians Without Borders® Workshop Reports and Photos: 2009

Solomon Islands | Republic of Moldova | Queensland, Australia [ICML] | Mongolia

Honaria, Solomon Islands (March 24–27 2009)

HINARI training in Soloman IslandsHINARI training in Soloman IslandsHINARI training in Soloman Islands

[click on images for larger versions.]

Submitted by Lenny Rhine, E-Library Training Initiative Coordinator

Particulars of Workshop:

  1. Titled 'National HINARI Training Course', the workshop was held at the Pacific Open Learning Health Net Center, Honiara, Solomon Islands March 24th - 27th, 2009. The Center is located on one of the campuses of the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE)
  2. Conducted with Julius Dizon, Administrative Officer of the WHO/WPRO Library.
  3. Total of 19 participants consisting of academic and library staff from SICHE, the University of South Pacific/Honiara Campus and the National Library, clinical staff from the National Referral Hospital and Kiluufi Hospital and staff from the Ministry of Health particularly the Public Health and Tuberculosis divisions. All except two had institutional User Names and Passwords.
  4. On March 30th, a 'short course' was conducted at the same site for 12 individuals who were not able to attend the 3 ½ day workshop.

Workshop Dynamics

  1. While the hardware was decent, the link to the Internet was problematic; at times, it was too slow for accessing the HINARI and PubMed websites. There also were two 15-30 minute time periods where the land line to the ISP was not functioning.
  2. Despite these limitations, we were able to complete the full HINARI course by re-arranging the schedule and switching to the 'off-line' material when the Internet was either too slow or not accessible. For several modules, we did have to limit the number of 'online' exercises but this did not impact significantly on the participants skill levels.
  3. One consequence of the above was that we only were able to conduct a brief overview of the additional 'Authorship Skill' material during the final morning.
  4. The participants were attentive, enthusiastic and flexible when we had to adapt to the Internet access limitations. As a group, these individuals were quite adventuresome when it came to changing the keyword searches to reflect their professional interests. Despite the number of doctors with their clinic responsibilities, almost all the participants attended the full workshop.
  5. Several of the library professionals noted how they could use the training material when returning to their work settings. One of the instructors noted how they could incorporate HINARI into their coursework - in a Research Methods course. Two of the physicians found the training to be invaluable for identifying specific research information that apply to their specialties.
  6. Several participants noted their institutional Internet access problems. Apparently, the ISP is a monopolistic organization - a government telecommunications corporation - and also the link to the Internet is via Satellite, not undersea cable.
  7. The Internet access problem was more significant for the 'Short Course'. After losing the link to the Internet, the participants were asked to complete the remaining exercises after returning to their offices.
  8. The workshop was held in the Honiara, the capitol of the Solomon Islands during the rainy season. The rain only was a problem a few times when we had to go to the next building for breaks and lunch and also during the weekend when I traveled to a nearby island with an active volcano.

Republic of Moldova (June 2009)

Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009

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Submitted by Lenny Rhine, E-Library Training Initiative Coordinator

This report contains summaries of two mini-courses conducted by Donna Flake in the Republic of Moldova. At the May 2009 MLA meeting, Donna attended the "HINARI, Train the Trainers' CE Course. This course was geared towards individuals whose institutions have linkages with HINARI eligible organizations.

This past June, Donna traveled to Moldova and was able to utlize her new expertise about HINARI. She conducted these workshops using material distributed at the CE Course.

HINARI Training in Moldova, #1
When: Monday, June 22, 2009
Where: The Library of the Free International University of Moldova.

Zina Sochira is the library director. The training took place in the university’s 10-story building in a new computer lab that belongs to a department other than the library. After the librarians arrived for the class, it took the university IT department a full 30 minutes to hook up the projector, steady the screen, and see which computer was best for projecting the images.

The course consisted of twenty librarians, but no health professionals attended the training. The librarians were very patient as the equipment was being set up. I took this time to get each librarian to introduce herself and tell about her job. I used an excellent translator who translated my English into Romanian.

At the beginning of the class. I provided an overview of what HINARI includes, and said that health professionals in Moldova can use HINARI free of charge. I provided the HINARI list of Do’s and Do Nots, and Zina said she would get this document translated for her librarians. Zina had given me her university’s HINARI username and password before the class.

First I demonstrated the A-Z journals list. It took a long time for anything to load on my computer, and the other computers in the class. I was patient, and the participants were patient. Also, because every comment or question had to be translated, this took up some of the waiting time. Finally, I was able to get to a journal title to open. I explained how the librarians should click on the word “HINARI” in yellow letters on the right side of the screen. We tried to open four journal articles. I quickly discovered that these computers lacked Adobe Acrobat Reader. (This was in spite of me previously asking if this software was all on the computers for the HINARI class). Once I knew we did not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, I did not open PDF files, just HTML files. Of the four journal articles which should have easily opened in HTML format since the word “HINARI” in large yellow letters was under the titles, only two of the four articles opened. I told the librarians not to worry, that my work today was to teach them “how” to use HINARI for future use, and they were learning “how” to use it.

Since these librarians were not medical librarians, they did not know about PubMed, and had no knowledge of how to search it. Therefore, most of the class was spent going into PubMed to look for articles on certain topics. I also demonstrated how to limit and how to look for authors in PubMed.

My translator and I decided it was better for me to stand near the screen so I could point out some things on the screen. My translator was at the computer projecting the images onto the screen. My translator was very computer-literate, and she not only translated, but also continued to walk up and down the rows of participants to help them if they got lost. There was time for her to do this since everything loaded so slowly. It was extremely helpful that she was so computer-literate because I could have also gone up and down the aisles, but if I made a comment to a participant, the translator would have had to be beside me translating.

The University's librarians were all very computer-literate. They caught on to the techniques I was teaching very quickly. They neither required instruction on Boolean operators, nor how to print or save information. All the participants said they enjoyed the HINARI class so much and they would use it in the future.

HINARI Training in Moldova, #2
When: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Where: The Scientific Medical Library of the State Medical and Pharmaceutical University of Moldova

Liubovi Karnaeva is the library director, but her deputy library director, Silvia Ciubrei, arranged for the HINARI training and proposed HINARI certificates for each person who attended. Silvia advertised the class, and got good sampling of health professionals and medical librarians from her university to attend. She also arranged for health professionals from the Moldovan Ministry of Health to attend. In total 23 people attended.

The class took place in a large computer lab (45 computers) of one of the medical library’s branches in the Pharmacy building. The class was scheduled to begin at 2 and all the participants were there at 2; however, it took 10 more minutes for the library’s IT staff to finish connecting the computer projector. The participants waited patiently. Silvia told me that she already had Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on these computers, and I was delighted to see that PDFs worked perfectly in the class today.

I began the class asking for a show of hands on several things. I asked how many use PubMed and about 15 people raised their hands. I asked how many used OVID MEDLINE, and about 5 raised their hands. I asked who has ever used HINARI, and only three medical librarians raised their hands. I told them if they searched PubMed by going into HINARI first, then they could pull up full-text journal articles in 6,200 medical journals. Several expressed regret that they did not know this before now. I told them that in the future they should always go into HINARI first, and then go into PubMed through HINARI.

As I taught the class, I could easily tell the participants were very computer-literate and intuitive about using HINARI and PubMed. Many were longtime PubMed users who knew much more about PubMed than I do. I could tell these people did not need much instruction, and they just needed to be pointed in the proper path. I used my excellent, computer-literate translator who translated from English to Romanian.

First, I demonstrated the A-Z Journal listing, opening 2 journal articles with the HINARI yellow lettering quickly and successfully. Next, I demonstrated the subject listing of journals, and asked each participant to pick a journal article in a subject of their interest and open a journal article. As people had questions, Silvia and my translator walked around the room to provide help.

Next, I went into PubMed, demonstrated how to look for subjects, how to limit, and how to search by author. The class progressed quickly. From teaching database classes for many years, I could easily sense when my participants thoroughly understood a concept, and did not need further examples.

At the end of the class, Silvia gave out the certificates of HINARI completion for each participant. Each certificate included the names of the participant. We then had a group photo and the class ended.

Afterwards, I talked to Silvia and Liubovi about the training and they said they were very pleased with the training. (Since this Moldovan medical library is the Sister Library of all the North Carolina Medical Libraries, I had already been in Moldova ten days prior to this day of HINARI training. I provided other classes to the medical librarians, physicians, and medical residents. I provided training on evaluating medical Websites, marketing the library, STAT!Ref, Anatomy TV, MD Consult, and other topics.)

I would suggest that future HINARI training at this location involve “Evaluating Medical Websites,” “Becoming an Author,” and repeating the overview I did on HINARI for University Health Professionals who were not able to come to my training. (I think this is also what is needed at the Free University of Moldova, since their librarians are also so computer-literate.)

One outcome of this HINARI training and training on the other databases, is that Dr. Ababii, President of the Medical University and former Minister of Health for Moldova, has mandated the librarians to integrate HINARI and database training into the medical school’s curriculum.


Queensland, Australia (August-September 2009)

Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009Republic of Moldova June 2009

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Submitted by Lenny Rhine, E-Library Training Initiative Coordinator, MLA

ICML Course – ‘Authorship Skills'

Particulars of Workshop:

  • The 6-hour course was held in conjunction with the 2009 International Congress of Medical Librarianship, 31 August 2009 .
  • 10 individuals participated split between health librarians from the Australia and the USA and those from HINARI eligible institutions.
  • The material is a supplemental HINARI course with the objective to facilitate publishing from HINARI eligible countries. The modules are relevant for participants from industrialized countries.
  • For both groups, the objectives were to:
    • increase the participants’ skills for publishing
    • give them resources to use in training at their institutions
  • The course material included:
    • How to Publish a Scientific Paper
    • Frequently Asked Questions – discussion
    • Web-bibliography
    • Intellectual Property: Copyright/Plagiarism
    • Strategies for Effective Writing
  • The course also contained numerous ‘hands on’ exercises including
    • Developing structured abstracts
    • Assigning keywords
    • Reviewing Web-bibliography links
    • From abstracts and scope of journals, selecting journal to submit the article
    • Multiple choice, true false and open ended questions for Intellectual Property and Effective Writing modules

Uniqueness of the Workshop:

  • This was the first day long-course devoted to the authorship skills material and two new modules were introduced (Intellectual Property: Copyright and Plagiarism and Strategies for Effective Writing).
  • With the group being split between those from industrialized countries and HINARI eligible institutions, the course participants had a broad perspective and this enhanced the discussions
  • Both groups felt that the material was relevant and useful for their own interests in publishing and also as training material (noted in the evaluations)
  • Since two new modules were piloted, I received ‘feedback’ from the students that resulted in several corrections on the slides and revisions to the exercises
  • This teaching experience reinforced that the modules are useful and that time should be devoted to this material during the 4 day HINARI workshops or as a one day additional course.

Note: I also presented a paper titled ‘HINARI Access to Research Initiative:
Overview, Training and Impact’. As previously mentioned, several industrialized country participants who attended this presentation spoke to me about working with institutions in HINARI eligible countries.

ICML Course – 'HINARI Training the Trainers'

Particulars of Workshop:

  • The 6-hour course was held in conjunction with the 2009 International Congress of Medical Librarianship, 01 September 2009
  • 8 individuals participated equally split between health librarians from the Australia and the USA and those from HINARI eligible institutions
  • The industrialized countries participants primarily were from institutions that have linkages with HINARI eligible organizations and consequently...
  • For this group, the objectives were to train these individuals to:
    • teach graduate students or visitors from HINARI eligible institutions
    • conduct workshops at partner institutions
    • become facilitators for HINARI distance learning courses
  • For those from HINARI eligible countries, the objectives were to
    • increase their baseline skills – as users and trainers for HINARI
    • introduce new tools that would be of use – MY NCBI, MY Collections, EndNoteWeb, Limits, etc.
  • The course material emphasized:
    • HINARI overview – general environment, background, eligibility/registration process, do's and don'ts
    • HINARI: the basics using the 'Short Course' – searching skills, HINARI website, Partner Publishers' websites, HINARI/PubMed, MY NCBI
    • Training materials overview
    • Funding options
    • Questions and answers session – teaching environment, potential participants, logistics of workshops, travel considerations, etc.

Uniqueness of the Workshop:

  • The 'hands on' activities of this course focused on the unique details of HINARI and HINARI/PubMed. (e.g. HINARI and Free Full Text tabs)
  • The Internet access was industrialized country level and, consequently, there were no bandwidth or electricity issues; the training room at the University of Queensland was the best facility that I have taught in.
  • The participants' skill level was high as many of these individuals have experience teaching in health libraries (although different material) or were active users of HINARI
  • Regarding the instruction, the most difficult aspect was knowing the level of detail necessary for the participants. At times, more detail and hands on activities were requested.
  • The interaction between the HINARI users and those from organizations with linkages was excellent; the participants from industrialized countries got insight into the users’ environment ; in one case, two participants plan to develop a partnership.
  • Several of the participants from Australia already had groups that they plan to train; for example, Monash University has a M.A. Nursing program for individuals from Papa New Guinea.
  • The turnout was somewhat lower than expected perhaps because the location was quite a distance from the hotels and Congress venue.
  • At the Congress itself, I was able to talk with several individuals interested in working with HINARI eligible institutions; hopefully, some of these individuals will follow up on what we discussed.

Mongolia (October 3-10, 2009)

Mongolia HINARI workshopMongolia HINARI workshopMongolia HINARI workshopMongolia HINARI workshopMongolia HINARI workshop

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Submitted by Lenny Rhine, E-Library Training Initiative Coordinator, MLA

Particulars of Workshop:

From October 3rd to October 10th, 2009, three distinct workshops were conducted in Mongolia:

  • 3 hour ‘short course’ (October 5 th) conducted during the WHO/Country Office retreat – emphasized searching strategies, evaluation of health information on the Internet, searching PubMed using the redesigned website and ‘free full text’ options, MY NCBI and strategies for managing change. An overview of WHO information resources also was conducted by Julius Dizon, Administrative Officer from the WHO/WPRO Library.

The course primarily was lecture format and the content was modified after talking with the participants. Many of them were physicians who manage WHO programs in Mongolia. These individuals were quite appreciative of the practical skills that we discussed particularly searching in PubMed and MY NCBI.

  • 4 day comprehensive HINARI workshop (October 6 th - 9 th) conducted at the Dornogobi Medical College, Sainshand, Mongolia. All components of a comprehensive HINARI workshop were taught - Searching Skills, Health Resources on the Internet, HINARI and Partner Publishers’ Websites, PubMed (including the redesigned format), MY NCBI and strategies for marketing HINARI resources and conducting workshops.

The workshop was conducted with Julius Dizon and with the assistance of Gan-Erdene Gantumur, a.k.a. Gana, as translator. A total of 25 individuals attended the workshop including academic and library staff from the Dornogobi College of Medicine and physicians from several regional hospitals and a Medical College from adjoining provinces. At least six individuals registered their institutions for HINARI.

We also conducted a one hour overview of HINARI that 50+ faculty and students of the Dornogobi Medical College attended.

The most difficult task was the limited English language skills of the participants although there may be some who understood and read more than initially acknowledged. Without the assistance of Gana, the workshop would not have been as successful. His computer literacy and excellent knowledge of English were invaluable. Note – the Mongolian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet.

Three other factors helped significantly in making this a successful workshop. The Internet access probably was the best from all the workshops I have conducted in HINARI eligible institutions (the satellite dish was right outside the window of the computer lab) and the IT staff were very helpful.

The participants also had very good baseline computer skills. This perhaps is a function of the Internet access at this College although the participants from other institutions also seemed to be knowledgeable.

The other key factor was that several essential documents and all the exercises had been translated into Mongolian. This enabled the participants to complete the assignments efficiently and effectively.

Julius and I also visited the College’s Library that definitely needs automation. We are in the process of writing a report assessing the current situation and outlining the ways to go forward.

  • A 2 ½ hour 'short course' was conducted (October 10 th) for 8 Ministry of Health physicians who are students in a WHO-sponsored Field Epidemiology program. The course covered the basics of searching strategies, evaluating health information on the Internet, HINARI and the redesigned PubMed site plus MY NCBI.

The timing of this course was excellent as this was at the beginning of their program and the information access skills will be of use throughout the year-long curriculum. All the participants have their own laptop and the training facility has an excellent Internet link.

Other comments:

There is a possibility of further training in Mongolia using funds from the WHO Country office. The training would be for the Field Epidemiology program and would focus on the ‘authorship skills’ material, a 4-day HINARI workshop at a Medical College in the north and a ‘short course’ for Ministry of Health staff.

The WHO retreat was held in the Terelj National Forest that is a striking mountain district, about an hour-drive from Ulaanbaatar. The Dornogobi Medical College is located at the outskirts of the Gobi Desert and is 10 hours by train (a 1970’s Russian-built train) from Ulaanbaatar. It is to the southeast of the capitol and somewhat warmer. Mongolia is a meat-centric country but, for the vegetarian, the staff at the Medical College made potato and carrot dumplings and mushroom soup. Being near the border of China, lots of fresh vegetables are imported. We did encounter snow flurries once but it was the day of our departure from Ulaanbaatar.