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UHN Virtual Library: About Us

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About UHN Libraries

UHN Library and Information Services (UHN Libraries) supports the information needs of the clinicians, researchers, staff and learners of TeamUHN. Whether it's for patient care, discovery, learning or decision-making, we're your partner in finding the best evidence.

Our mission: to enable innovation and learning through expert information leadership, and promote and enable access to the best evidence for decision-making.

Services & Training

UHN Libraries provide educational opportunities and services to support your professional development, clinical practice and research:

The Health Sciences Libraries

There are several library locations across UHN campuses. Libraries can be accessed by UHN staff, clinicians, researchers, and learners. Our library spaces offer:

  • Computer workstations
  • Group and individual study space
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Helpful staff to assist you with any questions you have about our collections, borrowing, and document delivery services

Our Collections

UHN Information and Library Services provides access to over 5000 journals, 8000 ebooks, and 4500 physical books. We also provide access to point of care tools like BMJ Best Practice, databases like Ovid Medline and Embase. Our collections focus on health sciences and medicine with an emphasis on clinical care and health education.

Most of our resources are available online and can be accessed by TeamUHN with their T-ID or UHN email and password:

Need help with our collections? Contact an information specialist for guidance

Most of UHN Library's books, journals and other information resources are online.

  • Find online resources using the library website
  • Access seamlessly from any UHN network computer
  • Access remotely with a simple log-in using your UHN email address or UHN t-id.

Anyone with a valid UHN badge can borrow print books and journals from our library collections. To borrow physical books and journals, please complete a client registration form―you can also register in person at one of our libraries.

  • Books may be borrowed for 3 weeks
  • Journals  may be borrowed for 1 week   
  • Some reference books and current issues of journals are available for in-library use only

Items may be renewed provided there are no holds on the item. To renew, please contact a library site.

  • Materials held at other UHN Library locations can be transferred at no cost. 
  • Books or articles not available at UHN may be requested through our Document Delivery Service (fees may apply).

To request to borrow an item, complete the Book or Article Request form.

Is there an important book, journal or other resource that UHN Libraries should consider adding to the collection? Let us know by requesting items for library purchase

  • Overdue notices will be sent via hospital internal e-mail. Refusal to return library materials, and/or to pay costs, may result in suspension of UHN Library privileges. Wightman-Berris Medical Students’ and PGYs’ overdue records will be forwarded to Medical Education offices.
  • Lost library books or journals are subject to the replacement cost of the item, plus a $10.00 library-processing fee per item.

The Value of Library Services

Evidence shows that librarians positively influence clinical decisions, improve quality of care, and help prevent adverse events in patient care.

Select Studies What the Data Demonstrates
Aitken EM, et al., found that the presence of clinical librarians on the health care team led to positive effects on patient care, including clinical decision-making.
  • 88% of respondents reported that they changed a treatment plan based on skills taught by the clinical librarian; 44% reported that they changed a diagnosis.
  • 79% of respondents changed a treatment plan based on the librarian's mediated search support; 36% changed a diagnosis.

 

Marshall JG, et al., showed that using information obtained from the library impacts patient care. It saves time, changes care, avoids adverse events, and supports the practice of evidence-based care.

 

  • A survey of 4,520 health professionals in the US and Canada reports that 75% of health professionals handled patient care differently after using information obtained from their medical library.

 

Research demonstrates that information literacy skills and evidence-based medicine training by librarians benefit the lifelong learning, research activities, and clinical decision making of learners and health practitioners.

Select Studies What the Data Demonstrates

Ayre S, et al., demonstrated the value of clinical information skills training by librarians on lifelong learning and patient care outcomes.

  • 98% of respondents saw a benefit in their teaching or learning following an information skills training session.
  • 75% of respondents in patient-facing roles used the training in patient care, to inform choice of treatment (28%), to advise patients/carers (27%), and in guideline and pathway development (27%).
  • Setting: National Health Service in the United Kingdom; 534 survey responses representing 61 organizations

 

Gruppen LD, et al., This comparative study found that librarian-led instructional sessions on EBM literature searches have a “marked beneficial effect” on the quality of medical student searches.

Students trained by librarians had fewer search errors and correspondingly higher quality searches than those who did not receive librarian training.

  • The average number of search errors for each student was less for the intervention students (4.4 errors) than for the control students (6.2 errors).
  • Intervention students had searches of higher quality (72.5% of a possible 95 points) than did control students (59.3%).
  • Setting: 92 fourth-year medical students at an academic health center

Librarian participation in the knowledge synthesis  process ensures that published review search strategies are of high quality. Research indicates that library involvement in the process of securing grants is a key element in getting grant proposals funded. 
 

Select Studies What the Data Demonstrates
Golder S, et al., concluded that  there were significant differences in the quality of literature searches carried out by information professionals compared to non-librarians.
  • Systematic reviews carried out by information professionals "were more likely to be reproducible, include more search terms, and search more databases” than searches conducted by non-librarians.
Luther J  quantified the library’s contribution to the process of securing grants and demonstrated that libraries provide economic benefit to institutions through successful grant awards.
  • 95% of responding faculty stated that citations were important in securing grant awards; 94% of responding faculty used citations in grant proposals; and 94% of responding faculty obtained citations via the campus network or library gateway.

Evidence shows that medical librarians enable a significant cost-savings for their health institutions. Investments in library services have also shown to produce financial returns to their institutions and communities. Additionally, library services and resources contribute greatly to successful grant awards, and ultimately to improving an institution's bottom line. 

 

Select Studies What the Data Demonstrates
Banks DE, et al., concluded that a librarian’s presence at morning report correlated with lower hospital charges and length of stays.
  • Librarian contributions to morning report led to a decrease in hospital length of stay from 5 to 3 days and hospital cost savings of $1,392 per case.
Perrier L, et al., concluded that librarian services influence clinical decision-making and reduce hospital length of stay of patients.
  • Librarian-led services improve clinician searching skills and clinical decision-making, and the systematic review indicated that services provided to clinicians were effective in saving time for health professionals.
Jemison K, et al., concluded that hospital libraries in the US Veterans Administration provided a good return on investment (ROI).
  • Studies showed a cost benefit range of 3:1 to 11.5:1 and return on investment (ROI) range of 210% to 1050%.
  • Business impact measures showed a cost per use ranging between 13%-46% lower than cost per use for commercial services;
  • Interlibrary loan annual cost savings and cost avoidance showed a range of $77,745-$1,083,755;
  • and librarian searches reaped a clinician-estimated hospital savings ranging from $159,493-$1,977,783, and a time savings for clinicians valued from $50,818-$630,170.