Online library services now shared across the province

January 18, 2018

e-link is an online, weekly newsletter for Regina and area employees, physicians and volunteers of the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Online library services now shared across the province

You may have noticed your library’s website looks a bit different since becoming the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

The library now runs under a new system and so the organization of the site, also used by Prince Albert, Saskatoon and by the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, has changed slightly and there are new search features.

“In 2012 we decided to share the same catalogue officially. So instead of three health regions paying for the same software, we share it. It saves money,” said Susan Baer, director of Library and Archives in Regina.

The Health Authority Library belongs to a new consortium that jointly selected the library software, known as CASLS (Consortium of Academic and Special Libraries of Saskatchewan). Members include the University of Regina, the RCMP Resource Centre, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the Law Society of Saskatchewan, the Legislative Library of Saskatchewan, and the Gabriel Dumont Institute.

The libraries in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, and Regina have been working together for years and users are now benefitting from that collaboration.

In the Regina area, the library link to the site can be found on the intranet home page. There, you can access databases, point of care tools like Dynamed Plus, electronic journals and books. There are practitioner-specific guides with collected resources applicable to their profession or specialty, including nursing, allied health, leadership and clinical engineering. The library’s catalogue includes print and electronic materials from the four locations. A key to the success of provincial access is integrating the existing SHIRP (Saskatchewan Health Information Resources Program) resources into the Health Authority’s subscriptions to make access as seamless as possible.

Regular users of the former site will notice the request forms for the library’s services have changed slightly. The ASK US button now provides users with the option to request an evidence search (literature search), request a copy of an article, or to register for offsite access to receive a bar code. Clinical librarians will search the evidence based on the clinician’s question to provide a list of abstracts with links to the full text articles. Direct patient care questions remain the priority for evidence searches.

“Clinicians are experts in patient care. Clinical librarians are experts in locating accurate and trustworthy information. Because the volume of scientific material published grows exponentially, methods of searching and accessing have become incredibly complex,” said Baer. “We suggest users contact the library to search the evidence for them, which then allows them more time to concentrate on their patients.”

Access to relevant data and information is critical in our decision-making as it informs our work and enables our success. Our commitment to system sustainability means using resources responsibly and striving to ensure key structures are in place to support staff, clients and patients.

“We hope to launch the library’s site for the entire Saskatchewan Health Authority by the end of the month,” said Baer. “We are using this time to work out any technical issues first. If you are using the site before the launch and run into any problems please contact your closest library.”

“This is a major accomplishment and library staff in each location should be commended for their tireless efforts of working together,” concluded Baer.

To obtain offsite access to or for other library help in the Regina area, call 306-766-4142 or email


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