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Librarians Without Borders® Workshop Reports: 2010

Jamaica (February 22-25, 2010)

Particulars of Workshop:

A ‘National Health Information/HINARI’ workshop was conducted at the University of West Indies/Mona Hopwood Computer Laboratory as part of the Medical Library Association’s Librarians Without Borders ® program:

  • Over 40 individuals attended all or part of the four day workshop. This included 10 librarians, 5 Ministry of Health staff members and 25+ physicians, lecturers and researchers primarily from UWI. Besides UWI, participants came from clinical settings and research institutes in the Kingston area and a regional hospital located in Montego Bay. This is the largest number to attend a workshop that I have conducted.
  • The average attendance per session ranged from 27 to 38 as some of the physicians, lecturers and researchers had to attend to other responsibilities.
  • The Hopwood Computer Laboratory had ample computers and seating for the large number of participants. Also, the Internet access/bandwidth was reliable and sufficiently robust to quickly download PDF files.
  • All the breaks and lunches were served in an adjacent meeting room - in a well done manner.
  • The planning and instructing at this workshop was a collaborative effort between Lenny Rhine and Swarna Bandera, the Director of the UWI Medical Library.
  • The workshop was a collaborative effort of HINARI, University of West Indies/Mona, MLA Librarians Without Borders ® and PAHO.

Uniqueness of this Workshop:

  • Jamaica is a Band 2 country and the publishers have sizeable limits on what material is available. The University of West Indies/Mona is the institution that subscribes to HINARI by paying the $1000 annual cost. Also, this University has access to approximately 550 e-journals via a Science Direct consortia agreement plus EBSCO HOST and other subscriptions. The University also has access to titles from HighWire, Press - which defines Jamaica as a middle income country – and various open access sources.
  • Due to this arrangement, the instructional material was tweaked - as the participants needed to understand how to access the whole range of available resources. Consequently, HINARI and PubMed were taught somewhat differently than would be done in a workshop at a Band 1 country. For example, Mrs. Bandera taught PubMed from the perspective of health professionals based in Jamaica.
  • Several new modules were developed for this workshop – Information Literacy and WHO Resources – plus the Evidence-based Practice module was taught for the first time. Also, Mrs. Bandera conducted an overview of Publishing Trends and how this has impacted on the UWI environment plus a discussion of Research Ethics that was added to the Authorship Skills material.


  • The participants had excellent computer/searching skills and consequently their needs were on a higher level. Many of the nuances of PubMed (e.g. MY NCBI, Limits) and HINARI were stressed. At times, the participants commented on what they preferred and contributed to the discussion of the instructional material.
  • The ‘Authorship Skills’ material was of particular interest to the participants as many of them are in an institution that ‘encourages’ publishing. Several participants commented how they would use the material for their post-graduate students or share it with their colleagues. Ditto for the ‘Evidence-based Practice’ module.
  • The participants also were quite interested in the ‘Health Information on the Internet’ and ‘Evaluating Internet Information/Searching Strategies’ modules. They became aware of gateways and portals that link to ‘gray literature’ from numerous inter-governmental and non-governmental agencies. This material would be of use in their teaching and clinical activities.
  • Many of the participants were pleased to learn how to complete ‘screen captures’ and this is not the first workshop where this has occurred.
  • One of the byproducts of the workshop was considerable networking by the participants. Several academic departments became aware of the UWI DSpace project and plan to participate. Also, the Ministry of Health staff learned about using Moodle (open source course management system) for continuing education. They have begun to communicate with staff from the Pacific Open Learning Health Network, an organization that has a Moodle server for this purpose.
  • For this workshop, I had to learn a considerable amount about Band 2 options as they apply to Jamaica and had to tweak some of the training material. We developed two new modules (Information Literacy and WHO Resources) and taught another for the 1 st time (Evidence-based Practice). The feedback on these modules was quite useful. Fortunately, English is the primary language and there were not translation issues.
  • The overall evaluations were very favorable (averaging 4.54 out of 5). This is quite positive with the number of participants and the range of their skills. Many found the hands-on activities, information gained and support material to be the strengths of the sessions. Several did note that some of the presentations and exercises were somewhat elementary for their skill level.

Florida, USA (May 22, 2010)

Particulars of the Workshop:

A Hinari Short Course was conducted at the University of Florida, Gainesville for the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Certificate Program and included 43 participants with 27 from HINARI eligible countries. Basically, I taught a variation of the HINARI ‘Short Course’ including hands-on exercises. The course was tweaked somewhat to include options for the individuals from the non-eligible countries. Additional material covered included an overview of Open Access Journals including Internet links to these resources, plus ‘free full text’ options in PubMed and MY NCBI. Also noted was the ‘free full text[sb] AND keywords’ option when searching in PubMed.

This was the most diverse group I’ve taught including individuals from Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. Thanks to the UF Marston Science Library for the use of their Teaching Lab.

The course is an example of the type of training that can be conducted at Universities based in industrialized countries that have links to individuals from HINARI eligible countries. In other words, I went less than 1 ½ miles from my house to teach HINARI! Participants would be either from courses taught at the University (such as this certificate course) or short term visitors or graduate students from eligible countries prior to their return to their home institutions.

Washington, DC (May 26, 2010)

Particulars of the Course

Medical Library Association CE 303 was conducted at George Washington University in conjunction with the MLA National Meeting. It was geared toward individuals from industrialized countries whose institutions have linkages with HINARI eligible organizations. The goal of this course was to give the participants the knowledge needed to teach the basics of HINARI. These individuals will be able to train visitors or post-graduate students from HINARI eligible institutions, conduct workshops at their partner organizations or make presentations to interested groups at their institution.

The course included an overview of HINARI and its environment, the basics of the Short Course, funding options, a brief summary of Internet-based health information and an overview of the training material.

Twenty-two individuals attended including Petros Miskir (Medical Library Director, University of Addis Ababa) and Deseo Ketshogileng (Medical Librarian, University of Botswana - not HINARI eligible) plus several individuals who have been at HINARI eligible institutions (Alexandra Gomes - Eritrea, Xan Goodman - Uganda).

Petros made a brief presentation that was quite useful from his perspective as a user. He made several suggestions that were forwarded to HINARI staff. Another useful suggestion was rewording the ‘Search… through PubMed’ to ‘PubMed @ HINARI’ and/or adding the PubMed icon. This is similar to the 2009 workshop where participants made several useful suggestions particularly about the development of the evidence-based practice module. Another similarity to 2009 was the level networking done by the participants as everyone is enthusiastic about international librarianship.

Additionally at MLA, I communicated with several individuals from the previous course and we were able to continue the momentum of that group. Of the 19 participants in 2009, 8 had conducted some HINARI related activity during the past year. I also made contact with Claire Twose, Johns Hopkins University, and an institution with a steady stream of visitors from HINARI eligible countries.

Papua New Guinea (June 1-4 and 7-8, 2010)

Particulars of the Workshop:

We conducted a National HINARI Training Course for Health Personnel, Medical Librarians and Researchers at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), Taurama Campus. Julius Dizon, Administrative Officer of the WHO/Western Pacific Regional Office Library, was the co-instructor and Dillie George, Medical Librarian, UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was the facilitator.

The 22 participants were a mix of physicians and registrars (residents), lecturers (medicine and nursing) and health information workers. The majority were from the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Port Moresby General Hospital while others were from Department of Health, regional hospitals and universities, National Research Council and National AIDS Council Secretariat. Participants included the College’s Dean of Education and several senior lecturers.

These individuals had good Internet skills, with several bringing their own laptops. The venue was quite nice - new computers, spacious with window. The Internet access definitely was adequate for 85% of the time – some slow patches but nothing to alter the program (the University has a plan to increase the bandwidth within a month). Also, this is the first institution I have trained at with multiple wireless connections throughout the campus.

Besides the detailed overview of HINARI and HINARI/Pubmed, we spent additional time discussing ‘health information on the Internet’ and also taught the ‘Evidence-based Practice Resources for HINARI Users’, ‘Information Literacy’ and ‘WHO Resources’ modules (all were a success) plus the one day ‘Authorship Skills’ workshop. We worked with the local contacts to develop the curriculum.

Note – we also discussed the material in HINARI’s Reference Sources drop down menu. The clinicians, lecturers and registrars were very pleased to hear about the availability of the Oxford Textbook of Medicine, Cochrane Library and other EBM resources, American Psychiatric Press textbooks and also EndNoteWeb! Periodically, participants would return to these resources to locate specific clinical information.

Initially, one-third of the participants did not know their institutional user name and password and many thought they had to register their institutions. All participants did come from registered institutions and this demonstrated the gap when an individual departs from a HINARI eligible institution without distributing this information.

The workshop had several by-products. These include the usual networking particularly by librarians but, equally importantly, support for small Internet lab in the hospital. This lack of hardware/Internet access was noted by the hospital physicians during the ‘marketing’ discussion. A key Department of Health administrator was taking the course and will be working toward resolving this situation.

Also, several UPNG main campus librarians, including the University Librarian, attended the ‘Information Literacy’ module. Afterward, we discussed how HINARI resources would be useful in the basic sciences and sometimes social sciences plus how OARE would be relevant for environmental sciences (as UPNG needs to register for this R4L resource).

June 7 Activities:

This was followed up with a visit to the University Library on the following Monday where I presented an overview of use of e-journals as it applies to this library including Open Access journals. This included a discussion with key staff about how to access and organize e-journals. Finally, the University Librarian and I met with Chancellor who is trying to expand/enhance the University network and level of bandwidth. Note – we need to encourage University Medical Librarians to facilitate the use of HINARI on main campuses.

June 8 Activities:

The last training activity was a repeat of Authorship Skills course on Tuesday with a brief HINARI overview. There were 27 participants with 2/3 being postgraduate students and 1/3 lecturers. Due to this makeup, I tailored some of material to the postgraduate group that have research projects to complete. These included an overview HINARI, the google generation searching strategies, how to evaluate websites and ‘read’ web addresses. One by-product was a discussion of MIT’s dspace project. One of the senior lecturers asked about developing an institutional repository and I was able to suggest this option. (A brief overview of this will be added to Module 1.2)

Due to the infrastructure and skills and enthusiasm of the participants plus the fact that English is the ‘language of education’, these workshops were as successful as any training I have conducted – not only for the UPNG participants but for those from other institutions.

The ‘word of mouth’ interest about HINARI reinforced this point. At the end of the final day of teaching, the UPNG Medical Librarian already had scheduled two short courses for the following week – for the Public Health faculty and the post-graduate students that had attended the Authorship Skills workshop. With the infrastructure and training skills of the Medical Librarian, the number of users at the UPNG will continue to grow. Also, several clinicians from the Port Moresby General Hospital had requested their user name and password and three participants from the comprehensive workshop have written about what they intend to do at their institutions.

Lisbon, Portugal (June 16, 2010)

A ‘Train the Trainers’ one day course was conducted at the EAHIL Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. It was geared toward individuals from industrialized countries whose institutions have linkages with HINARI eligible organizations. The goal of this course was the same - to give the participants the knowledge needed to teach the basics of HINARI. These individuals will be able to train visitors or post-graduate students from HINARI eligible institutions, conduct workshops at their partner organizations or make presentations to interested groups at their institution.

The course included an overview of HINARI and its environment, the basics of the Short Course, funding options, a brief summary of Internet-based health information and an overview of the training material. BabelMeSH was added as this was of interest to and potentially of use for almost all the participants.

Gaby Caro, HINARI/Geneva, was the co-trainer. The course was dedicated to Vimbai Hingwe who had died in a car accident two weeks ago. He was the principal HINARI trainer for ITOCA (Information and Training Centre in Africa) and his training ability, energy and enthusiasm will be difficult to replace.

Fourteen individuals attended this workshop. The majority were from Portugal with 3 from Italy, 1 from Mozambique, 1 from France and 1 from the United Kingdom. Approximately ½ the participants were in institutions (universities, hospitals) that had linkages with individuals from HINARI eligible organization. The remaining participants were interested in learning about HINARI and how they possibly could participate. Flatiel Vilanculos, the WHO Country Office/Mozambique periodically conducts HINARI training and was able to discuss the environment in the eligible countries. Flatiel did note that an undersea cable has reached Mozambique and increased the bandwidth for the country.

During the course, there was considerable networking including some valuable contacts for Gaby. Two of the participants suggested options for further promoting the ‘train the trainers’ idea in Europe and I will follow up on this.

Nepal (September 28-30, 2010 and October 4-6, 2010)

National Health Education, Information and Communication Centre (NHEICC) Workshop:

The HINARI programme and related training workshops are linked to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals particularly:

GOAL 8: DEVELOP A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT/ Target F: in cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.

These workshops are a combined effort of the NHEICC, WHO/Country Office, SEARO and the Medical Library Association (USA)/Librarians Without Borders® that is funded by a grant from the Elsevier Foundation.

The first two days of the NHEICC workshop was an ‘Advanced HINARI’ course – to reinforce and build on the skills of the participants who attended the August 2007 HINARI ‘Train the Trainers’ Workshop. 22 individuals attended these two days including 2 individuals serving as facilitators (Mr. Uttam Ratna Shakya & Ms. Gita Thapa).

Approximately two thirds of the participants had attended the initial workshop. The course work included an update of HINARI/PubMed (website changes, Limits, Advanced Searching) and a detailed overview of new HINARI training material. These new modules include ‘Evidence-based Practice Resources for HINARI Users, ‘E-book Resources for HINARI Users’ and ‘Information Literacy.’ The goal was to have the participants become knowledgeable of many of HINARI underutilized resources particularly those listed in the various drop down menus and also hone their skills. The two facilitators noted how they were not that aware of these additional resources and how the training benefitted them.

One third of the individuals were attending HINARI training for the first time. All of these librarians came from registered institutions and wanted to learn how to better use and promote HINARI. Since this was billed as an ‘Advanced HINARI’ course, they were at a disadvantage. While some basics were discussed and further training modules were suggested, the training experience was not the same as attending a regular workshop with all the hands-on activities.

In the evaluation, approximately one third of the participants from the workshop ‘somewhat agreed’ that the length of the course was appropriate and I suspect many of the first-time trainers noted this (as opposed to two thirds ‘agreeing’). In retrospect, we should have taught the HINARI Short Course the initial day and followed up with the ‘Advanced Training’. This would have enabled the new students to have the necessary skills to better understand the new materials.

One very useful byproduct of having a second workshop was the interaction between the various HINARI users and trainers within Kathmandu. During this workshop, there was an ongoing dialog as individuals discussed the general issues for effectively utilizing HINARI in their institutions. There is an agreement to develop a HINARI-Nepal Users Group and a Google Group is being created.

One invaluable idea noted by Macha Bhai Shakya/Patan Hospital was the use of the Opera web-browser to access HINARI. By using this browser, the password is not displayed but the user is able to access all components of HINARI. This eliminates the need to distribute the password information to the numerous users. At the Hospital, Macha has loaded this on all the public access computers, numerous departmental computers and individual laptops.

The third day of the NHEICC workshop highlighted the ‘Authorship Skills’ training material; again, there were 22 participants. These individuals were a combination of clinicians and researchers interested in publishing and librarians from the initial workshop. This course covered modules titles ‘How to Write a Scientific Paper’, Intellectual Property – Copyright and Plagiarism’, ‘Authorship Skills Web-bibliography’ and a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ discussion. Hands on skills included the writing of a structured abstract, assigning of keywords to that abstract and, after reading an abstract, identifying/justifying of a journal for submission of that article.

As in the two-day course, there were a significant number of individuals that had not received HINARI training previously. After completing the Authorship Skills training material, we conducted a one-hour overview of HINARI that also noted how to locate/use the numerous training modules. While this was useful, the depth is limited compared to completing a formal course.

For the instructor, one gratifying byproduct was being able to hear about the developments/increased usage of HINARI at some of the institutions. These developments were mentioned during the ‘general issues’ discussions. In the three year period since the previous workshop, the Patan Hospital had gone from Internet access via a modem to a dedicated line from the ISP and over 40 workstations in the library and a separate learning resource center. Chandra Bhusan Yadav, the librarian from the National Health Research Council noted significant usage increases at that institute.

Lumbini Eye Institute Workshop:

A second workshop was conducted at Lumbini Eye Institute, Bhairahawa. Ms. Sudha Risal Sharma was the instrumental local contact who coordinated the initial communication and agreement with the Institute. This was the first HINARI training conducted outside of Kathmandu and was well appreciated by the participants and the Institute.

This three day course primarily was a ‘Train the Trainers’ workshop. It extensively covered all the key components of HINARI (website, HINARI PubMed, Do’s and Don’ts, training materials) so that the participants would be able to conduct training upon returning to their institutions. Also, the key modules from the Advanced Training were incorporated including ‘Evidence-based Practice Resources for HINARI Users, ‘E-book Resources for HINARI Users’ and ‘Information Literacy. During the afternoon of the final day, there was brief overview of the ‘Authorship Skills’ training material as this was quite relevant for some of the participants.

The 23 participants basically were split between librarians from the regional hospitals and medical colleges plus the surgical ophthalmology residents from the LEI. What was unique is that all the residents brought their laptops and used the LEI wifi link to access the Internet. While individuals had attended workshops with laptops before, this is the first time 50% of the participants had this option.

The librarians have the ‘trainer’ or ‘resource person’ perspective while the residents obviously were ‘users’ (especially since many are conducting research projects). During the course of the various presentations, specific points were made toward the information or learning needs of each group. Having the two distinct groups attend the workshop worked out quite well.

At this workshop, there were three facilitators plus the instructor. We were able to insure that the students completed the hands on activities properly.

It is a pleasure working with Uttam and Gita as we have established an excellent rapport that assists in the participants learning the material successfully. They know exactly when to summarize a concept or two in Nepali -to insure that everyone understands the material. The staff of the LEI did an excellent job with all the local arrangements (breaks, breakfasts and lunches, Internet access including the wifi option)

The NHEICC support also was invaluable for all three workshops– in obtaining the ‘local costs’ funding from the WHO/Country Office and insuring that all the background work/details were completed in an efficient and timely manner.

Note: On 07 October 2010, an additional ‘HINARI Overview for Registered Institutions’ presentation was conducted at the Patan Hospital - for the approximately 40 teaching faculty and first year medical students. This presentation also included information on the HINARI E-books and other sources of textbooks on the Internet. This was quite relevant for this group as the hospital’s Medical College program is in its initial year.

Brussels, Belgium (October 18-22, 2010)

A 3-1/2 day workshop was conducted in conjunction with the Stimulate International Training Program. This program is sponsored by the Vrjie Universiteit Brussel. Fifteen librarians from low-income countries are participating this year with ten being from HINARI eligible institutions. The program covered the accommodations and internal travel costs for the instructor.

In the 3-1/2 days of instruction, the following material was covered:

  • Internet resources and searching including Boolean logic, health information on the Internet, evaluation of web resources, DSpace and open access journals
  • Information literacy and marketing
  • Research for Life Programs overview
  • HINARI Website, partner publishers resources, review of HINARI and PubMed training material
  • PubMed website, limits, history and accessing full-text resources, MY NCBI
  • Authorship skills--how to write a scientific page, copyright and plagiarism, keys for effective writing, web-bibliography, frequently asked questions discussion
  • Managing change

As a group, the participants were hardworking, knowledgeable and inquisitive. This led to many useful discussions including tangents that were relevant for the participants. In terms of HINARI, those that are eligible learned how to be trainers and can use these skills when returning to their institutions. Although this group had a different makeup than usual HINARI training workshops, the evaluations were as positive (if not more) than other workshops. The only negative comments were from the participants from ineligible countries (India and Philippines) as they wished their countries were eligible.

Perhaps the two most intriguing participants were two librarians from Cuba (Cristina Ledon Tedros and Yelina Piedra Salomon). For individuals who had not traveled outside of the island, their English was excellent plus they were very knowledgeable and were some of the principal contributors to the discussions (along with a Hieu Theiu – a librarian from the Thai Nguyen University in Vietnam). One of the Cuban librarians works in a fisheries research institute. After contacting the AGORA staff, we were very pleased to find out that this band 2 institute in Cuba would have access to 62 of the 65 titles listed under the ‘fisheries/aquatic sciences’ subject category. The cost would be $1000 per year.

Note – Band 2 means that the annual per capita gross national income of the country is between $1601 and $4600 and that each institution pays $1000 per year for access to each of the R4L programs. In some cases, the publishers have chosen to opt out of specific countries and this is why 13 of the fisheries journals would not be accessible.

Other activities with positive outcomes:

While in Brussels, I also traveled to the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine on 21 October - to make an overview presentation to 40 MPH or P.HD students plus 10 faculty members. This is an institute dedicated to training individuals (predominantly MPH degrees) from low-income countries and conducting numerous research projects in these countries.

Approximately 90% of the students are from HINARI eligible countries. For 2010-11, the teaching is in French so the students are predominantly from Francophone sub-Saharan African countries plus Haiti. This overview was very well received as the students understood that, after graduation, they would continue to have access to many relevant e-journals and other resources. Several of the students noted how they already had used HINARI when at their institutions.

Other positive outcomes were the faculty realizing that their students’ access to current information will not end when they graduate. For example, the veterinary medicine faculty plans to send information about HINARI to their graduates so that these individuals can access the numerous ‘animal culture’ e-journals available in HINARI.

Also, Dirk Shoonbaert, the ITM Librarian, plans to conduct ‘Short Courses’ with the students as they near graduation and return to their respective institutions. This training is exactly what was envisioned when the ‘Train the Trainers’ Course for individuals whose institutions have linkages with HINARI eligible organizations was developed. This type of training could be ongoing with each new group of students at the ITM.

After completing this trip and the training in Brussels, I traveled to Amsterdam for a Saturday morning meeting with Tilly Minee, Ingelbart Nagel of Royal Tropical Institute/Netherlands (KIT) and Ylann Schemm from the Elsevier Foundation. KIT may have even more programs in developing countries than the ITM. For example, the organization has an ongoing training program for a 150+ network of librarians in low-income countries

The 90 minute meeting was quite fruitful and emphasized the different strategies for training the students at KIT plus how to promote HINARI to their numerous contacts from various research and information programs. Currently, Ingelbart is completing the distance learning ‘Short Course’ and will begin training students near the time of their completion of the degree program plus she plans develop means to promote HINARI and the other R4L programs to the institute’s contacts.

This meeting occurred on the morning of the 29 th day of travel and the 2 nd part of this document was written while flying from Amsterdam to Orlando. It is time to return to Florida and leave the cool and wet weather of Northern Europe.


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