Library Link: September 2020

Hello Library Linkers!

Welcome to our September Newsletter! Library Services has lots of BIG news this edition, including our anti-Racism & oppression resource collection development, and re-opening library spaces! Please click on the newsletter or the link below to view all or the additional links!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to

Harmonizing library collections & resources across Unity Health Toronto

by Zack Osborne, Manager of Health Information & Knowledge Mobilization

Picture this…

You work at Providence as a nurse and want to search the CINAHL database to find articles supporting a new initiative on your ward, but hold on a second – Providence doesn’t have a subscription to CINAHL. You think, “but CINAHL is available at St. Mike’s and St. Joe’s, why not here? I thought we were now part of the same health network?” Or this: you’re a researcher at St. Mike’s and urgently need access to a VERY expensive scientific text available in electronic format, but due to licensing restrictions, it’s only available to staff at St. Joe’s. Or imagine this: you’re a physician at St. Joe’s with a patient inquiring about herbal alternatives for their treatment and you want to consult the Natural Medicines database, but alas, it’s only available at St. Mike’s!

Do any of these circumstances sound familiar? They’re flat-out frustrating! However, here’s the good news: these unwanted and unfair scenarios are currently being addressed and will be resolved through a Library Services initiative to harmonize library collections.

Harmonization & Equity

A foundational objective of unifying Library Services across Providence, St. Michael’s, and St. Joseph’s is to establish a single, harmonized library collection for all staff, physicians, researchers, students, and volunteers at Unity Health. The three legacy library sites each bring their own unique journal subscriptions, database licenses, eBook packages, print journals and books, clinical point of care tools, and more. A harmonized Library Service for Unity Health means improved resource equity and access across our three sites.

What’s involved?

Phase 1: Data collection (summer 2020)
Perform a comprehensive collection and systematic organization of all subscription resources (databases, singularly subscribed electronic journals, eBook and eJournal packages, online point-of-care tools, etc.) from each of the legacy library sites. Accompanying each resource is the publisher, Unity Health site(s) where it’s subscribed, the current cost, along with usage statistics, and other details.

Phase 2: Analysis (fall 2020)
Investigate and analyze usage of all resources at each site over the course of four years. Identify cost-per-use details and trends for each resource to help inform decision-making for expansion or cancellation. We will also consult input from the 2019 Needs Assessment Project conducted by Library Services, as well as historical data from interlibrary loan requests for journals not held in the collections at our sites.

Phase 3: License (re)negotiation & Enabling Access (fall 2020/winter 2021)
Work with third-party content and service vendors to request and obtain quotes for expanded access to resources, and negotiate or re-negotiate license terms for multiple sites and their users. We will also leverage consortial pricing of some resources through the Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto (of which Unity Health Toronto is a member). Ultimately, once finalized, resources will be made available and accessible to staff across Unity Health Toronto.

What else?

Future phases will include communications and promotion of new resources and collections at sites where they were previously unavailable, integrating our three legacy search catalogues for improved discoverability of print materials plus lending/borrowing of print items across the three sites, as well as work to evaluate new resources and continuous efforts to expand equitable access however appropriate and necessary.

There’s still much, more information to come! Please stay tuned, and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, and suggestions related to our collections harmonization initiative.

New! Knowledge Synthesis Support Tools

Looking to write a review paper? Library Services is excited to introduce new tools for emerging knowledge synthesis (KS) projects (e.g. systematic reviews). These tools are designed to educate research teams and students about the major types of reviews, help them choose the KS methodology that best suits their project, aid in the proper planning of projects to help ensure that they result in successful publication, and test their readiness.  

Comparison chart
The comparison chart defines and compares key elements of major KS methodologies and assists in understanding the key attributes of each review type. It is meant to be used with the decision tool. 
Decision tool
This tool assists in making a decision about what type of review is right for you based on your research question(s) and the required parameters of each type of review. It is meant to be used with the comparison chart. 
Knowledge Synthesis Readiness Checklist
A detailed checklist to help research teams determine their readiness to conduct a knowledge synthesis project to completion.
This tool describes requirements for attribution of authorship, expectations for collaboration, and publication etiquette. It might be particularly helpful for junior scientists or those who have never worked with an information specialist in the conduct of a knowledge synthesis project.

If you have any questions about these tools, please don’t hesitate to contact Zack Osborne, Manager of Health Information & Knowledge Mobilization at


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Library Link: August 2020

Hello, Library Linkers!

Happy August! Library Services has dedicated this issue of our newsletter to highlight the resources Library Services provides to support learning whether you’re working on-site or off-site. Please check out all of our resources in this pdf august-newsletter-2020 or click on the image below!




Scheduled Pick-ups for Library Materials

Starting July 13th, Library Services will offer scheduled pick-ups for St. Michael’s Hospital’s library material! This includes print books and journals in our main collection, the Leadership Development collection, Popular Health & Science collection, as well as iPads. You can schedule your pick-ups anytime between 10 AM- 3 PM.

1. Find the item(s) you want to borrow

First, search our online catalogue for the item(s) you’d like to borrow by visiting the library website here:


2. Request and schedule your pick-up

To make a request and schedule your pick-up please fill out the required information on this form:  

3. Pick up the item(s) you requested

To pick up your requested item(s), please arrive on the confirmed date and time at the Library’s entrance next to the Computer Lab/opposite the LKSKI east elevators, and please bring your St. Michael’s Hospital badge.

When returning the library item(s) you borrowed, please use the drop-box also located by the library entrance next to the Computer Lab/opposite the east elevators.

This service is currently only available at St. Michael’s Hospital. If you have any questions or would like clarification, please reach out to and we will be happy to help.