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Learning from librarians in many languages at Állatorvostudományi Egyetem in Budapest, Hungary: a summary from Kris Alpi

By Kristine Alpi, AHIP

The Librarians without Borders® Ursula Poland International Scholarship supported part of my travel to the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest, Hungary where I presented two papers at the 9th International Conference of Animal Health Information Specialists held June 14-17, 2018. 

Kris Alpi Hungary

The Hungarian librarians were amazing hosts and we learned that the veterinary library serves students from all over the world learning health information in three languages: Hungarian, English, and German.  See their new book shelf signage and display for proof! To learn more about the library, visit

New Books

Conference presentations were in English, and attendees included librarians from Brazil, Norway, Austria, Germany, the U.K., and many other European countries.  Some of the presentations are available through Washington State University ( and the Hungarian Veterinary Archive ( now.

The project I had proposed as part of the Scholarship was to extend our study of holdings of veterinary pharmacy literature by libraries serving colleges of pharmacy and/or veterinary medicine globally.  After my presentation of the U.S. study approach, we held an open discussion funded by the Poland scholarship to discuss the feasibility of the project as designed.  Through this conversation, I learned from international colleagues about several country-specific issues that would limit the usefulness of findings. For example, in some countries all subscriptions are licensed nationally so all universities automatically have access to the same journals and coverage would be the same.  Veterinary pharmacy as practiced by pharmacists was not common outside of the U.S.  Several librarians advised that veterinary pharmacy is provided by veterinarians and taught only within the veterinary medicine curriculum and there is no provision for veterinary drugs to be provided by pharmacists and therefore no training in the human pharmacy curriculum for veterinary pharmacy.  This information was shared candidly by the librarians in attendance, and I might never have learned it had I not had the opportunity to meet with these librarians in person.

ICAHIS Group Photo 2018

Their responses led me to rethink the relevance of extending our U.S.-focused project globally to include both schools of veterinary medicine and pharmacy.  The focus will now be on the extent to which veterinary schools across the world have access to the global veterinary pharmacy literature.  The librarians who participate will also identify regional/national veterinary literature that is highly relevant to veterinary pharmacy in their countries.  Understanding sources of information for pharmaceutical therapies used in other countries worldwide is increasingly important with the global food supply and expansion to live animal travel.  Although delayed by my transition from the Veterinary Medicine Library at North Carolina State University to Oregon Health & Science University Library, I plan to continue this project with my veterinary library and pharmacy colleagues as an example of One Health knowledge sharing.  Thank you very much for the support of the Librarians without Borders® Ursula Poland International Scholarship!

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