How a Hospital Library and the Local Public Library Partnered to Share Patient Education Materials

by Kathy Bryce Wednesday, July 09, 2014 9:31 AM

If you search the Halifax, Nova Scotia public library catalogue for “physiotherapy”, the first record to appear is for an educational pamphlet on “Physiotherapy services in Nova Scotia”  with a link to view it online as a PDF.  Subsequent records in the search results are also patient education pamphlets covering such topics as a guide to going home after surgery, ankle injuries and shoulder-strengthening exercises.

Halifax PL          CapitalHealth2

The Health Sciences Library of Capital Health has recently partnered with Halifax Public Libraries to add hundreds of these hospital-produced patient education pamphlet records to the public library’s catalogue. The goal is to make locally produced current information about health promotion, medical conditions, diagnostic tests, and surgical procedures more accessible to the public. These materials are also freely available and searchable from the website of the Health Sciences Library of Capital Health.

The hospital uses Inmagic DB/TextWorks to maintain the pamphlet database in a non-MARC format. Lara Killian from the Health Sciences Library spoke on the project at the recent CHLA conference in Montreal and described the project. Records are exported into MARC format from DB/TextWorks using a map created with the MARC Transformer available from Inmagic. These records are then massaged using the free MARCEdit software to create a file suitable for loading into the MARC-based AquaBrowser discovery software used by the Public Library.  There were some challenges with the MARC formatting, such as the display of French diacritical marks. At the Public Libraries, Dave MacNeil worked with AquaBrowser to tweak the formatting of the search result display to ensure that when these pamphlets show up, the direct link to the free PDF is easily identifiable.

This new initiative launched in June 2014, with the goal of increasing visibility and usage of the pamphlets by adding this new public access point.

If you need help with a similar project, please contact us for assistance.

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