Background and aims Hospice libraries are often small with limited budgets. Most employ one part-time staff member or are run solely by volunteers, however, demand for information support in organisations that strive for evidence-based practice is high. Hospice clinicians need to identify relevant research and appraise it effectively. Hospice librarians need to provide the right support to their users to facilitate the required outcome of highly skilled healthcare professionals that stay current, appraise research appropriately and drive evidence-based practice.
Changes in copyright law and advances in technology mean that it has never been easier to share resources and communicate nationally. While the healthcare sector struggles with increased demand and static financial support, hospice libraries will be required to leverage their resources as much as possible.
Methods and results By working together, hospices could maintain their knowledge and information services at an acceptable level and within budgetary constraints. It is proposed that hospices collaborate and share: journal articles; current awareness services; acquisitions lists; online information skills training; and journal club support. A range of resources have already been produced by a large hospice and additional information and tools from participating hospices could be pooled in an online information hub. Email and phone support could be coordinated by the initiating hospice, with particular emphasis placed on supporting the hospice library staff and volunteers already in place all around the country.
Service evaluation and impact would be monitored using website usage reports and statistics on the type and number of phone and email enquiries received. A whole sample online survey would further evaluate the service proposition. Usage statistics and online survey responses would be analysed annually to further develop the service.
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