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Librarians Without Borders® Train the Trainers Reports and Photos

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

February 2015

In February and March 2015, one day HINARI workshops were conducted at two U.S. based Universities that have significant histories as public health institutions with numerous global health projects – Tulane University and Johns Hopkins University.  These institutions are similar in breath to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine or Antwerp School of Tropical Medicine

The first workshop, titled HINARI Training:  Access to Global Health Resources was hosted by the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine on February 6, 2015. The program planning and local arrangements were ably coordinated by Elaine Hicks, the public health librarian at this institution. 

The goal of the training was to develop a group of HINARI users with 21st century information skills who will have a positive impact on evidence-based public health research, policy and clinical decision making. This enable learners to be advocates for information access in LMICs. The course was designed for Individuals from eligible countries who will be returning to their respective institutions and individuals who will have contact with those from eligible countries – either as students or visitors to their US based institutions or during visits to such organizations.

The six hour course covered overviews of all Research4Life programs, HINARI Basic Course, (Searching Skills, HINARI Portal, HINARI/PubMed, PubMed Filters/Search Options) and brief summaries of the HINARI Advanced Course (Evidence-based practice resources, e-books and other/grey literature resources), Authorship Skills, Reference Management Software material and how to conduct a HINARI training course.  These sessions also included hands-on exercises and all the material was made available in a Dropbox folder.  The participants were given MLA CE course certificates.

The number of participants averaged 35-40 students for the sessions.  The participants were a mix of MPH students, several PHD students from eligible countries and four regionally based librarians who could conduct similar training at their institutions.  Critical to the success of this workshop will be post-workshop follow-up especially with the librarians.   One of the information professionals, a UNC-Chapel Hill library faculty member is planning to conduct some short courses during a trip to Cambodia.

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

March 2015

The second workshop was hosted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Welsh Library on March 24, 2015.  Peggy Gross coordinated the workshop, Donna Hesson assisted and both served as facilitators.  Also Jean Sacks assisted as a facilitator.

The target audiences for this 2nd workshop was identical to the initial program - Johns Hopkins faculty, staff and students who have linkages with HINARI eligible institutions, will be visiting eligible institutions, or have contact with students from eligible institutions and particularly students who will be returning to eligible institutions after completing advanced degrees.

The program included three 90 minute sessions that focused on Basic HINARI (Background about R4L programs, HINARI portal, HINARI PubMed), Advanced HINARI (e-book resources, health information on the Internet, brief overview of evidence based practice resources), Zotero reference management software and HINARI and R4L training tools.  Similarly to the 1st workshop, all the material was placed in a Dropbox folder and those that attended the 1st two sessions received a certificate.

45+ participants attended the 1st two sessions with 35 for the 3rd one.   The composition of this group was predominantly Masters in Public Health students - many who will have projects/internships in R4L eligible countries and several from R4L eligible countries including three Fogarty Fellowship scholars studying Medical Ethics for 3 1/2 months (from Uganda, Botswana and Zambia), four 'informationists' from Welsh Library and the librarian from the Wilmer Eye Institute.    

All the material was well received by the various groups although most of the presentations were overviews with the limited training time.  Some of the (expected) byproducts were participants discussing further collaborations or communication with a new colleague.

One outcome is the recognition that HINARI training should be conducted every six months.  Several faculty members could not attend as they were on overseas assignments in R4L registered institutions.  Similarly to the 1st workshop, there is a need for follow-up with the participants particularly to develop distance learning courses for JHPEIGO staff in eligible countries and a subset of a network of international ophthalmology librarians from eligible countries plus training assistance from two individuals who will be working in Haiti and Myanmar.

University of Florida

May 2013

On May 25, a course was conducted for 31 students in the University of Florida Certificate in One Health program. This was a complicated course with 70% of the students from HINARI eligible countries and the remaining 30% from non-qualified institutions and also the instructional period was limited to 2 ½ hours.

For the students from HINARI eligible countries, the material covered included HINARI background, sign-in procedures, the HINARI interface, PubMed searching (overview of PubMed website, filters and advanced search and MY NCBI) and a brief training material summary. Due to the more diverse composition of the participants, material on Open Access journals including free-full text articles via PubMed and several Internet gateways also were included in the course material. At the end of the course, we briefly discussed Zotero and other reference management software options plus the Authoraid website. Also noted were the authorship skills modules available from the HINARI training page.

Almost all the participants from HINARI eligible institutions currently were users of the resource. In this brief training course, these students learned a number of useful tools to more efficiently search within HINARI especially via PubMed and about some of the underutilized resources. The ineligible group benefited from specific tools for locating free full text journals and other free Internet resources plus the information about various tools (Zotero, Authoraid) available for individuals from eligible and ineligible countries.

While the course included some hands-on activities, there was insufficient time to cover many of the concepts in depth and also download Zotero onto the participants’ laptops. I have requested two sessions for next year’s program. One would cover the searching skills, Open Access e-journal resources, HINARI and PubMed options material while the second would focus on Zotero (including downloading of the software) and further detail on the authorship skills materials including several hands-on activities.

Training: University of Florida visiting scholars from University of Dar es Salaam

Also conducted on April 25 and May 16 were two workshops for 4 University of Florida visiting scholars from the University of Dar es Salaam. In the initial workshop, the training focused on OARE including the website interface and searching via Environment Index and Scopus. The second session concentrated on Authorship Skills and Zotero. The latter was downloaded onto the laptops of the participants and, for the basic features, they completed hands-on activities. The overall focus was on giving these individuals specific skills that would be useful in their ongoing research after they return to the University of Dar es Salaam.

Boston, MA

Date: May 6-8, 2013

MLA/International Congress on Medical Librarianship (ICML) Conference Hinari-Related Activities

On May 6 th, a HINARI Users’ meeting was held with Lenny Rhine and Gaby Caro being the co-chairs. It was attended by twenty-four people with approximately 50% being users and 50% being individuals from developed countries whose institutions work with HINARI eligible organizations.

The discussion was wide ranging and, with the knowledge of Gaby (Technical Officer/HINARI), there were numerous problem solving opportunities and also suggestions for possible HINARI interface developments. These topics discussed included username and password issues and masking options, access problems and solutions (reinforcing the need to communicate with the HINARI office in Geneva) plus training opportunities and the difficulty in scheduling such activities. Participants suggested the development of a mechanism for reporting e-journals and e-books access problems via the HINARI website.

The discussions were invaluable to trainers from eligible institutions as they were able hear solutions directly from Gaby and also their own colleagues. This conversation enabled those from developed-country institutions to understand the local environment of these trainers. For the co-chairs, it was an excellent opportunity to interact with a group of users and learn more about their perspectives and needs plus supply some useful answers.

On May 8th, the Librarians Without Borders ® : Internet-based Information Resources for Health Professionals in Low and Emerging Income Countries was conducted at the Medical Library Association/International Congress of Medical Librarianship meeting (CE Course 309).

The course was geared toward MLA/ICML participants from low/emerging income countries or from institutions in developed countries with linkages to organizations in these low income countries. The objective of the course was for the participants to obtain practical skills for locating, accessing and evaluating Internet-based health information for use in these environments.

Twenty-seven individuals participated in the course in addition two instructors (Lenny Rhine, Michael Chimalizeni) and four facilitators (trainers based in HINARI eligible countries and Gaby Caro, the HINARI Technical Officer). 70% of the participants were from institutions in developed countries that had linkages to eligible organizations, the remaining 30% were individuals from eligible countries, two librarians from El Paso that periodically work with students from Mexico and one librarian from India (non-eligible countries).

The Internet-based Information Resources component consisted of an overview of Dspace, Boolean operators, Open Access journals, Google/Scholar/PubMed, Evaluating Internet resources and Internet-based grey literature. It used examples featuring Open Access journals resources including via PubMed, free E-book resources, the Health Sciences Online database and the Essential Health Links gateway.

For HINARI, the basic components of the Short Course were covered including an Overview of Research4Life Programs, the HINARI interface, HINARI/PubMed, MY NCBI and HINARI Do’s and Don’ts. Both these sections included some hands-on activities focusing on material that would be used in training workshops.

After covering resources-based material, the course continued with a discussion focused on the Overview of the teaching environment, Potential groups for workshops, Logistics of training courses and a Review of participants’ information needs. Facilitators from Moldova, Nigeria Vietnam, and HINARI/Geneva contributed to this wide ranging and dynamic discussion. Issues mentioned included electricity and bandwidth concerns, the need for administrative support, username and password issues and masking options, different skill level of participants and the undervalued role of librarians. Several participants from eligible institutions also added to the conversation.

The final section of the course was an overview of the HINARI training material and what could be used for specific training situations. Briefly noted were modules on underutilized resources (evidence-based medicine and e-book resources), authorship skills and reference management software options.

The previously mentioned discussion session appeared to be the most beneficial section. With the assistance of the four facilitators, we were able to review many of the dynamics of conducting training in the developing country setting.

All of this material was covered in a five hour time frame. For some of the information, there was inadequate time to go into sufficient depth or complete more than one or two hands on activities. The broad interests of the participants added to the difficulty of covering all this material sufficiently.

We suggested that the participants continue to review the material that was mentioned during the workshop. For example, the authorship skills, and Zotero, Mendelay modules were briefly discussed. Most participants at recent workshops have found this material to be quite useful but we not able to cover these modules sufficiently.

Special thanks to the Elsevier Foundation that funded a boxed lunch and also the refreshments at the break and to the facilitators for their contributions.


Tallahassee, Florida

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Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Florida State University

While in London Lenny Rhine was contacted by a University of Florida International Center staff person about training ten Iraqi Fulbright Scholars who are residing at Florida State University for two months. We quickly developed a brief training program that was conducted on 21 st at the UF Marston Science Library training room. Special thanks to Amy Buhler for her assistance.

The workshop highlighted HINARI resources, HINARI PubMed and MY NCBI. While some of the participants were not in R4L disciplines, all of them found useful resources within the program (including three computer science professors). This was particularly true for the physicist, biologist and environmental science professors as there are a significant number of basic and applied sciences e-journals and other resources within HINARI.

There was considerable discussion about access to HINARI in Iraq and institution user names and passwords. All the participants’ institutions were registered but most did not know their access code. After this discussion, Gaby Caro at HINARI/Geneva was contacted and all the participants now have their institutional ID and the name of the contact to receive the password. Alaa Harif, one of the computer science professors, is working with the Geneva office to identify current contacts for the registered institutions. This is critical because Iraq’s ‘Special Band 2’ status will change in 2012 and the individual institutions will need to pay $1000 per year to continue access.

This discussion reinforces the need to better promote HINARI at registered institutions and have in-country contacts to assist with updating contact information for individual institutions.

London, United Kingdom

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Date: July 8, 2011
Location: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

On July 8, a presentation and discussion was conducted (by Lenny Rhine) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The goal of these activities is to facilitate training and communication with post-graduate students and recently graduated students from HINARI eligible countries. It was organized with the assistance of Jane Falconer, Information Services Librarian at the LSHTM.

Twelve individuals attended the presentation and most were Ph.D. students from HINARI eligible countries. Unfortunately, the numerous Masters students had graduated the previous June. Since many of the interested faculty members were either on holiday or work at various regional distance learning centers, the presentation was videoed. Hopefully, many will view the video that is on the LSHTM website.

The ensuing discussion with Ms. Falconer plus the coordinator of the clinical trials Master’s program was quite productive. We reviewed methods for reaching recently graduated students and also those who will be participating in upcoming programs. The latter group includes both individuals who will attend courses in London (either degree or certificate courses) and those registered as distance learning students. The estimate of the number of degree course programs from HINARI eligible students is 500 per year.

Also attended (by Lenny Rhine and Gaby Caro) was the Research4Life (R4L) Partner Publishers meeting in London on July 14th. R4L is the name for the three related program for health (HINARI), agriculture (AGORA) and environmental research (OARE). This gathering was held at the British Medical Association because that is where the original HINARI program was launched ten years ago. This is the annual meeting to review the activities and discuss policy changes suggested by the programs’ staff with the partner publishers. Key points that were discussed and accepted were the strategic plan through 2020, criteria for new partners, acceptance of aRDi as a partner and tweaking/raising of the various parameters used for country eligibility.

Date: July 15, 2011
Location: British Medical Association

Lenny Rhine and Gaby Caro also attended the Research4Life (R4L) Partner Publishers meeting in London on July 14th. R4L is the name for the three related program for health (HINARI), agriculture (AGORA) and environmental research (OARE). This gathering was held at the British Medical Association because that is where the original HINARI program was launched ten years ago. This is the annual meeting to review the activities and discuss policy changes suggested by the programs’ staff with the partner publishers. Key points that were discussed and accepted were the strategic plan through 2020, criteria for new partners, acceptance of aRDi as a partner and tweaking/raising of the various parameters used for country eligibility.

On July 15, key participants were involved in a series of team meetings including the Training Team meeting. Key points discussed at the Training Team meeting (that impact on the LWB activities) were:

  • discussion of training survey prototype used for 2011 meeting; suggestions for 2012 version and expansion of respondents to include a greater % of training done at numerous R4L institutions.
  • development of an interactive version of the three programs’ short courses that are accessible from the Information Training and Outreach Center for Africa’s Moodle server and, for HINARI, the MLA Moodle server; discussion of expanding language options.
  • need for upgrading numerous modules for all R4l programs when the new interface is launched in late 2012.
  • use of the new Customer Relations Management system to inform new and old institutional contacts about the various training materials and general updates (relates to a discussion at Communications Team that there is a need for a marketing group).
  • priorities for new training modules

A meeting between Lenny Rhine and Steve Glover (one of the principal HINARI trainers) resulted in contact with Sarah Lewis-Newton, Library Manager, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In an ensuing phone conversation, there was a discussion about training various groups (again current and recent graduates) from HINARI eligible countries. We anticipate that this will be done during the upcoming academic year

Istanbul, Turkey

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Date: July 5, 2011
Location: Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey
Instructors: Lenny Rhine, e-library training coordinator and Gaby Caro, World Health Organization/Geneva

Eighteen participants attended the 'Train the Trainers' Course during the EAHIL conference, including individuals from Finland, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada and Australia. The workshop also included some participants from lower income but non-eligible countries (United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Poland). The logistics for the workshop were very well coordinated by the staff of Koc University. The venue and Internet connection were on the level that would not be matched in a HINARI eligible country.

The course was geared toward individuals from HINARI eligible institutions – to become more knowledgeable about the program, numerous resources and training materials. The objective was for these individuals to learn the skills to participate in HINARI related activities either at their institutions or partner organizations in eligible countries. Possible outcomes include:

  • Train visitors/graduate students from HINARI eligible countries
  • Conduct a training course at a HINARI eligible institution
  • Be a facilitator for a HINARI distance learning course
  • Assist with developing training material
  • Make presentations to interested groups - faculty, students, colleagues, health NGOs, visitors from eligible institutions
  • Accompany faculty or students - to outreach activities at institutions in HINARI eligible countries

This type of training has been successful at the previous five workshops conducted at meetings in industrialized countries and the online version of this course. We anticipate similar positive outcomes from those trained at this workshop.

The workshop consisted of the following components:

  • Review the basics of HINARI and emphasize what baseline skills users need
  • Discuss local environment for HINARI course and trainers’ needs (question and answer section)
  • Review possible types of HINARI training that you can conduct
  • Discuss possible funding sources
  • Review HINARI training resources Health Resources on the Internet (Module 1.3) and BabelMeSH (Module 4.6)

The instructors and participants were pleased with the outcome of the course. Besides covering the basics of HINARI, there was considerable discussion and brain storming between the participants and trainers. Some of the individuals had ‘ready-made’ linkages at their institutions while others (particularly those from Finland and Norway) were thinking of broader projects possibly involving their countries’ international aid agencies. An individual from the UK discussed the possibility of being funded by the Volunteer Service Organization for six months to conduct training in several French universities in Africa.

One drawback was that some of the exercises from the HINARI Short Course were elementary for most of the users. These were instructive on the type of training that could be conducted.

The positive outcome of the workshop was reflected in the results of the survey. For ten questions, the responses were sixteen for ‘agree’ and two for ‘somewhat agree’.


Lisbon, Portugal

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Date: June 16, 2010
Location: Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
Instructor: Lenny Rhine, e-library training coordinator

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.

14 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.

Washington, DC

Date: May 26, 2010
Location: George Washington University, Washington, DC
Instructor: Lenny Rhine, e-library training coordinator

Medical Library Association CE 303 was conducted at GWU 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.

22 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.

Submitted by: Lenny Rhine, June 20, 2010

Honolulu, HI

HINARI Training at MLA '09 in Honolulu, HawaiiHINARI Training at MLA '09 in Honolulu, Hawaii

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Date: May 15-19, 2009
Location: Honolulu, HI
MLA CE 303 - 'HINARI Training the Trainers'
Instructor: Lenny Rhine, e-library training coordinator

Particulars of Workshop:

  1. The 4-hour course was held in conjunction with the 2009 Medical Library Association (MLA) meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, May 20th, 2009.
  2. It had 18 participants consisting of health librarians from the USA and Canada; individuals received 4 CE credits from MLA.
  3. The participants primarily were from institutions that have linkages with HINARI eligible organizations and consequently...
  4. The objectives were to train these individuals to:
    1. teach graduate students or visitors from HINARI eligible institutions
    2. conduct workshops at partner institutions
    3. become facilitators for HINARI distance learning courses
  5. As a group, these individuals had significant knowledge of searching skills and the nuances of PubMed
  6. The course material emphasized:
  7. HINARI overview - general environment, background, eligibility/registration process, do's and don'ts
  8. HINARI: the basics using the 'Short Course' - searching skills, HINARI website, Partner Publishers' websites, HINARI/PubMed, MY NCBI
  9. Training materials overview
  10. Funding options
  11. Questions and answers session - teaching environment, potential participants, logistics of workshops, travel considerations, etc.

Note: the course included 'hands on' activities but considerably less than at a regular HINARI workshop.

Uniqueness of the Workshop

  1. 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)
  2. The Internet access was industrialized country level and, consequently, there were no bandwidth or electricity issues.
  3. The participants' skill level was high as many of these individuals have experience teaching in health libraries (although different material).
  4. Regarding the instruction, the most difficult aspect was knowing the level of detail necessary for the participants. At times, more detail was requested. Ditto for the 'hands on' activities.
  5. The discussion of funding options, teaching environment, logistics of workshop, training opportunities, etc. was unique since this workshop was geared toward potential trainers from industrialized countries. The communication was lively with considerable input from those participants who have been involved in international projects.
  6. The participants also contributed suggestions for the training material - see below

Byproducts of 'Train the Trainers' Workshop

  1. The networking component cannot be underestimated. Many of the 18 students have had international experiences and were excited to be able to communicate about current and potential projects. All the participants were 'on the same page' regarding international librarianship/outreach. This was a lively group especially during the questions and answers session.
  2. The participants noted typos in the training material and also made content suggestions (particularly on developing an Evidence Based Medicine module). One suggested adding 'AIDS' to the 'find journals by subject category' drop down menu.
  3. A number of potential activities were discussed:
    1. a participant will conduct training during an upcoming visit to several universities in Moldova
    2. another will work with vet med doctors from her institution who volunteer in Afghanistan
    3. two bilingual participants are interested in assisting in developing and facilitating a self-paced 'short course' in Spanish
    4. another would like to schedule a 4-day HINARI course for Ethiopian physicians linked to a University of Toronto program
    5. a CDC librarian who has conducted a HINARI overview during a month long training program now will request four hours to teach a formal short course for eligible students
  4. A final byproduct is that, while at MLA, I was able to discuss EndNote PubMed options with a Thompson technical support person and also attend the NLM update and learn about forthcoming changes in PubMed that are to be launched in late summer 2009.


In December 2006 during the initial planning for the Librarians Without Borders grant, Barbara Aronson suggested that I conduct this type of training. This took 2 ½ years and always was in the back of my mind. The potential impact of this course is high and I plan to a follow-up with all the participants—to see what training activities were conducted.

A similar course is scheduled for the ICML/Brisbane in August 2009.