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Thursday, October 20, 2005

2005 Health Libraries Week

November 14th – 18th this year sees the 2nd annual Health Libraries Week, co-ordinated by the National Library for Health (NLH) a library and information service for the NHS, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It offers a range of services to support patient care, staff development and research. The library mixes traditional services such as professional support from NHS library staff, with web based services such as a comprehensive search engine, clinical question answering, and current awareness. The NLH’s web resource can be found at, and work is under way to link and develop existing local NHS library resources, both electronic and traditional.

The aim of the week is to raise the profile of health library services, and increase awareness of the range of library and information services and resources available to those working in healthcare in England.

Did you know that health library services offer help and advice from skilled staff, journal and book collections – electronic as well as paper, study space and internet access, training courses and current awareness services, search services and document delivery – all designed to help busy healthcare staff find the best available evidence about healthcare matters as quickly as possible.

In addition to the personal services within local libraries, the National Library for Health website ( is available to all NHS staff in England, allowing access to information at a time and place that is convenient to them. The NLH website offers a range of Specialist Libraries that identify the best evidence on a range of the major healthcare topics, as well as links to high-quality resources such as the Cochrane Library and the BMJ’s Clinical Evidence. NHS staff can also access bibliographic databases such as Medline and Cinahl, as well as over 1500 full text journals and a collection of electronic books. The site also offers a search engine, a question answering service aimed at staff working in primary care, and news and current awareness services.

There will be various events taking place in and around health libraries up and down the country during Health Libraries Week - why not take the opportunity to contact your library and see what they have to offer, and how you can best make use of their services to support patient care?

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