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Librarians without Borders® Regional HINARI Train the Trainer Workshop Reports: February 19 and March 4, 2016

Los Angeles, CA (February 19, 2016) and
New Orleans, LA (March 4, 2016)

Submitted by Lenny Rhine, April 14, 2016


These workshops were held at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA. The two one-day workshops focused on similar groups of participants – global health workers who collaborate with HINARI eligible countries; health-science librarians, researchers, clinicians and students particularly those enrolled in global health MPH programs including individuals who will return to HINARI registered institutions.   

The workshop goals were to:

  • Provide access to high-quality biomedical and health literature for low and middle income countries
  • Gain the skills to access and utilize HINARI information resources
  • Become certified to train others
  • Promote awareness and use of HINARI
  • Promote global EBP and inclusion of knowledge from developing countries into global medical literature

The training assumed a certain level of knowledge and basic searching skills using and electronic information sources. The various HINARI training modules were summarized so that the participants would get an overview of the program’s resources during a one-day workshop.  Also emphasized were the types of training activities that would be useful to the program’s users.

Specific material discussed included an overview of the Research4Life programs, Health Information on the Internet including searching strategies, evaluating Internet sites and various resources, the HINARI portal, HINARI/PubMed searching,  HINARI and Internet e-book resources, Evidence Based Practice resources for HINARI users and overviews of the Research4Life Authorship Skills and Training Material.  All these topics included several hands-on activities.  The final activity was to develop workshop programs using specific scenarios.

These workshops were organized by Karin Saric (USC) and Elaine Hicks (Tulane University). Both did an excellent job promoting and arranging these trainings. In both cases we had professional venues and excellent food. Both individuals also participated as trainers for several of the modules and assisted as facilitators for all the programs’ sections.


There were similarities and differences between the two workshops. The attendance was the same – approximately twelve as there were several people who attended parts of the workshop. The survey results also were quite similar and very positive with almost all the variables (instructional material, session objectives and content, the trainer and acquiring knowledge) being ranked in the ‘agree’ category. In fact, the participants in one of the workshops all agreed that the ‘length was appropriate for the course content’ – a first. Also, the participants all were enthusiastic participants who regularly interacted with the trainers. Regarding the content, both groups found some of the ‘health information on the Internet’ sites to be invaluable sources of grey literature that were particularly useful to identify public health information.

The significant difference was that most of the participants at USC were health librarians from within the region plus global health institute coordinators from USC and UCLA. Other participants included three students including one MLIS student plus one USC Occupational Therapy faculty member who has coordinated the OT student externship to Ghana for the last ten years. She has also recently established a collaboration with the first OT program at the University of Ghana. The knowledge level of this group was quite high and enabled us to cover all the material and engage in lively discussions. 

At Tulane University, a large majority of the participants were MPH students from the University plus one faculty member from that program. Many of these individuals plan to work in environments where there will be HINARI eligible institutions while three came from countries where the resources are available. The faculty member currently works with researchers in Sierra Leone and would like to increase the research capacity of the faculty at this University. The pace of this workshop was somewhat slower with Elaine adding Tulane related resource comments during the ‘teachable moments’. Also with this group, there was considerable discussion about the potential use of these resources and the options on conducting training.

A final similarity between the two groups is very positive. In both cases, there already have been tangible ‘outputs’ including ongoing communication about potential training and communicating with individuals at registered institutions.  One of the participants will be conducting training in Nepal in late April and a 2nd plans to do training in Suriname this summer.  Also, the two faculty participants are working with Karin and Elaine respectively – to submit a proposal to the MLA HINARI/Research4Life Grant.  We will continued to do follow-up about output activities.

In conclusion, these two small but very focused workshops appear to have the potential for numerous positive outcomes although, with MPH students, this may be after they obtain professional positions. The interaction between instructors and participants at both workshops was excellent.


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