1B1 Innovations, Challenges and Opportunities within Regional Health Libraries in British Columbia

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  • Introduction: Faced with continual change, British Columbia regional health and ministry libraries must innovate in order to survive. To understand how these libraries are evolving, this study: 1) describes and compares the libraries, 2) analyzes how they are changing and innovating in order to deliver value, and 3) identifies gaps and opportunities in the current landscape. Methods: Librarians from seven health authorities and one ministry library completed online surveys and telephone interviews regarding eight themes drawn from the literature: library environment, research services, instruction, service delivery models, prioritization, evaluation, innovation, and the provincial landscape. The librarians later participated in a focus group to explore key findings in greater depth. Results: Libraries range considerably in role of the library in supporting open and connected research and researchers size and staffing levels. Both centralized and distributed service delivery models are in practice. Reaching library patrons from geographically remote areas is a common challenge, as is leveraging technologies needed to advance services. Reference is identified as the most valuable service provided, and all libraries recognize the importance of measuring and demonstrating the impact of this and other services. Ongoing needs assessment and evaluation activities are taking place. There is some interest in standardizing assessment procedures in the future, using similar outcome indicators to inform marketing and advocacy endeavors. Discussion: In a landscape of library closures, service consolidation and technological limitations, innovative non-traditional activities are required to improve delivery of information and resources. This project's findings promote information sharing on best practices and highlight collaborative opportunities to address existing gaps within the library systems.

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    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International