Denmark: Hanne Christensen, Conni Skrubbeltrang, Finland: Pirjo Rajakiili, Liisa Salmi, Estonia: Keiu Saarniit, Iceland: Gudrun Kjartansdottir, Norway: Elisabeth Akre, Elisabeth Husem, Sweden: Eva Alopaeus, Marie Källberg
Absent: Latvia: Velta Poznaka Lithuania: Meile Kretaviciene Iceland: Elin Eiriksdottir
Norway was responsible for the meeting.
Chair: Elisabeth Husem,. Secretary: Elisabeth Akre
Welcome to Gudrun Kjartansdottir from Iceland, new member of the Board
Minutes 2003. Correction: The sentence “In Sweden one of the representatatives come from the Board….” Under the paragraph “Formal Baltic representation….” is annulled, as Sweden has the same system as all the other countries.
Short reports from each country. Each country should present a written status report of on page (A4) as an enclosure to the minutes, to be sent to the secretary.
The name of the Association.
A new name was needed to include the Baltic Association. The Board agreed that the new name should not be an abbreviation, to make it easier for others to understand what the Association is about.The new name is: The Nordic-Baltic Association for Medical and Health Information. A short version could be “Nordic-Baltic Association” or “Nordic-Baltic Group”
Article 4 – Board representation
New text accepted by the Board:
“The Association is governed by a Board consisting of two members from
each of the Nordic Countries Associations and three members from the Baltic Countries Association (BAML), one from each of the Baltic countries.
It is the responsibility of the Board to ensure that the Association's objective is fulfilled, as illustrated in Article 2.
Members of the Board, as well as deputy members, are appointed by the
board of the respective National Associations and hold office for a
concecutive period of four years. Members can be reelected.
The Board consists of a Chairperson and a Secretary, both from the same
country, and the Board Members. Chairperson and Secretary positions
alternate between the countries in the following order: Norway, Sweden,
Finland, Denmark, Iceland and the Baltic Countries.
Each National Association has one vote. Issues are decided by a
majority of votes.
The Board may set up specialist groups and committees ad hoc.
The board is responsible for the following:
-to ensure that representatives of the National Boards meet at
least once a year, preferably in connection with EAHIL conferences and
-to maintain electronic tools for communication between members
-to decide how to use any surplus from events organized by the Association.”
Report from Transfer of Knowledge III - Workshop in Kaunas, April 2004.
Ten years of cooperation was celebrated with a workshop at Kaunas Medical University Library, with participants from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The Baltic libraries did presentations on their experience with the cooperation so far. The presentations are published in SMH Newsletter 2/2004 http://www.norskbibliotekforening.no/smh/20042.pdf (text), and at the home page of the Nordic Sea Region Cooperation (formerly Nordic Baltic Cooperation) http://www.norskbibliotekforening.no/smh/smh_balt/index.html. (power point)
Cooperation with medical libraries in St. Petersburg
One week of courses for medical librarians were held in St.Petersburg in June 2004, with EBHC as the main topic. Free internet resources was also an essential topic. The Subito service was introduced to the St.Petersburg libraries during the courses.
This was truly a Nordic-Baltic cooperation. Course holders came from Norway, Sweden and Finland. MAPS in St.Petersburg were the local hosts. Meile and Lina from Kaunas, Lithuania translated to Russian during the courses. Course participants came from several medical libraries in St. Petersburg and 3 participants came from Tartu, Estonia.
2 librarians from MAPS, Elena and Larissa, are participating at the conference in Santander, financed by the Transfer of Knowledge project. Larissa will give a paper on behalf of MAPS.
The cooperation program has been renamed to The Baltic Sea Region Cooperation and from now on it is part of the agenda of the Nordic-Baltic Association. Board members and their Associations are asked to look for possible funding sources for further projects, as well as good course holders. There are plans for study visits from St. Petersburg to Stockholm, Gothenburg and Oslo, and more courses in St. Petersburg. Jean Shaw in GB has asked if librarians from Chechnya may participate in the next courses. In return, GB will provide a course holder from Bloomsbury Health Care Library, London.
SMIL – The Nordic Portal to Consumer Health Information
The database is a great success. It is administered by Sweden and Norway. The working group of has members from Sweden, Norway and Finland. How about Denmark and possibly Iceland? Can they also contribute with the work? SMIL is drifted by Library for Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Oslo. Even though the database only has contents in the Scandinavian languages, it is from now on part of the Nordic Baltic Association agenda. The language part is a main issue, as there are many similar resources in English, but none except SMIL in Scandinavian languages.
The Nordic Baltic Association home page
The Association’s home page has been maintained by Estonia for the last years, and Keiu is willing to continue also for the next year. All Board members are equally responsible for checking that the information is correct, and to supply with new contents.
A more visible Association?
Marie Källberg suggested that the Board meetings should be announced in the EAHIL Conferences and Workshop Programs to make the Association more visible. The Board members agreed that all should contribute to better visibility for the Association.
BAML – The Baltic Association of Medical Libraries – homepage:
Thanks to Liisa Salmi
Liisa will retire in May 2005, so this was her last Board meeting. Liisa was one of the founders of NAMHI, and she has been a valuable and active member of the Board since the start. Many thanks to Liisa for her contributions over the years.
Next Board meeting will be in at the EAHIL Workshop in Palermo, 23-25 June 2005.
Sweden will arrange the meeting.
The following meetings will be arranged in the order stated in the Articles: Finland (2006), Denmark (2007), Iceland (2008). The Baltic countries (2009).
In Denmark the Danish Electronic Research Library (DEF) negotiates most licenses.
In principle all public Danish universities and research institutions can register for a DEF license. In certain cases county and/or public libraries and companies can register. Most hospital libraries participate in some of these licenses.
A DEF license is an agreement on access to electronic information resources, signed by DEF on behalf of a number of libraries. The fundamental characteristics of a DEF license are:
• Broad library interest
• Alternatively other political interest for DEF (e.g. co-operation on digitisation)
• Possibility of financial support from DEF
• DEF secretariat negotiates license agreement.
Further information: http://www.deflink.dk/eng/default.asp
It is possible to search the 9000 electronic journals in the DEFFNet-database.
All citizens in Denmark have access to the Cochrane Library.
New organization of the Danish Regions.
From januar 2007 Denmark will be divided into 5 regions and approximately 100 local authorities. Today it is divided into 14 regions and 275 local authorities.
The regions are responsible for all public hospital services in Denmark, and they also administer the National Health Insurance Service. Hospital librarians are like other employees in the regions very concerned about the future.
FMI (Faggruppen for Medicinsk Information)
FMI has 79 members. Each year we have four meetings between 25 and 30 members attend the meetings. Themes have been:
The Health Information Services at the National Board of Health. Systematic reviews etc.
Searching nursing literature and research information.
Health Statistics at the Internet
Information about the Danish health portal www.sundhed.dk
Only a few members contribute to the portal www.klininfo.dk ,at the moment the steering committee discuss the future of the portal.
Regarding the field of medical information , the situation has not changed much during the past year. As the financial resources for medicine have been inadequate, it is evident that the respective library aspect cannot change either. The Clinics of Tartu University have technically resolved the problem that all the Estonian medical community could use the information sources of the Clinics of Tartu University. As there is only one faculty of medicine in Estonia which is affiliated to the University of Tartu, Tartu is the center of Estonian medical science.
The Clinics of Tartu University serve as a medical, teaching and research base for the University. Although the residents of the Tartu University Faculty of Medicine may work also in some other hospitals, they use the databases of the Tartu University Medical Information Centre.
Since 2004, Tartu University Medical Information Centre has provided a new service, an electronic newsletter with hot topics, which is sent to the mailboxes of all the doctors.
At present, we are working on a list of all Estonian doctors from outside Tartu, who would like to join our Centre for using the information sources.
All university libraries in Finland have started a project called "Tietokartta" (Knowledge map"), which means that we are trying to sort out, what are the collections - printed and electronic - in different libraries and what kind of gaps we have."
Great progress has taken place in Finland when FinMeSH, the Finnish translation of MeSH is now being checked and brought to public use. The National Health Project in Finland includes a subproject called Metavalta and as a result of this group's activities, recommendations for dealing with and harmonising all thesaurii, vocabularies, classifications etc. in use in
Finland were written. The Metavalta group had a good representation of information specialists and health sciences librarians, who now could see to that this kind of work is carried out professionally. The Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, who has done the practical work so far, has now clear guidelines how to proceed, and they also have public funds from the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (MHSA). So, after many years of hard work, there is public access to the server of MHSA, where all the health sciences vocabularies are and will be.
Liisa Salmi and Pirjo Rajakiili
At Landspitali University Hospital Medical Library and Information Centre people rely more and more on electronic resources. I started there in the year 2000. Then people came to the library to take photocopies from the journals and we had a lot of books on our bookshelves. Now times have changed, we don’t have so much material on our shelves, since people access most of what they need through their computers. Most books and journals the library buys are electronic. The printed journals we have available are mainly from the last 20 years. If the customer needs older articles, we order them from SUBITO or other libraries.
We try to teach and instruct people how to use our electronic material by offering courses and visiting the various departments of the hospital to introduce the material the library buys. People appreciate this, but both we and they often wish there was more time left for the hospital staff to attend our courses. At the library we try to let people know that we are at their service anytime, and we urge people to come or call us if they need instruction. It seems that more and more people have got familiar with the electronic form of journals, since we don’t receive as many article orders as before. Now the Landspitali University hospital main library is open on weekdays from 8-16 and we have two branches that are open two days a week. A year ago the main library was open from 8 until 19, but as we had to reduce the costs for running the library and we have fewer visits in order to access its material, opening hours were cut.
Landspitali University Hospital Medical Library and Information Centre serves students in medical and nursing sciences at the University in Iceland as well as Landspitali, the main hospital in the country. The library has now made a service contract with some other health institutions, such as The Icelandic Cancer Society, The Icelandic Heart Association, The Directorate of Health in Iceland, Reykjalundur Rehabilitation Centre and St. Josep’s hospital.
Reykjavik Health Care Services has its own library, where my Icelandic college Elin Eiriksdottir in the NAHMI board works. The Administration of Occupational Safety and Health in Iceland also has its own library. Me, Elin and Gerdur who is a librarian by the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health now make up the new board for the Icelandic Association of Libraries in the Health Care Sector.
Two trends dominate the Norwegian picture in 2004.
1) In the academic sector (universities and colleges) a government reform leads to new learning models with more independent student activity. Keywords: Quality reform, flexible learning, life-long learning. One consequence is that library courses are becoming part of the student curriculum. Also, fewer people are coming to the library in person or ordering articles from the library because they use electronic resources. This means less staff for customer service, more staff for teaching activities.
2) A national public project has recently started. The aim is to provide a digital library of national licences for databases, journals, clinical guidelines etc, accessible for all health personnel in the country. This will change the situation for the hospital libraries, probably in the same direction as for the academic libraries: more staff resources for teaching and guiding, less for customer service and document delivery. Internet connection for health service staff is still poor in many institutions. This will be a crucial factor for how this will develop.
The hospital libraries, by way of SMH cooperate with the national project. The first version of the national digital library for health personnel “Helsebiblioteket” is meant to open on 01.01.2005.The funding will be partly central and partly from each hospital, but not directly from the libraries budgets. Funding is however still uncertain.
The Federation of Swedish County Councils (Landstingsförbundet) has finished a negotiation process for an agent to provide electronic information resources for publicly funded health care in Sweden’s 21 counties and regions. This is the second phase of the Eira project that started in 1999.
This time the content consists of five databases and 1000+ fulltext journals.
The agent chosen is swets. The role of the agent is to act as an intermediary between the customers (the counties) and the publishers.
The databases CiNAHL, AMED, PsycInfo and Medline will be on OVID’s platform and the Cochrane databases are original. The main publishers involved are Elsevier, Blackwell and LWW.
There is no central funding. The decision to join, and the cost, is the responsiblity of each county or region.