Results of a Survey to Benchmark Canadian Health Facility Libraries
Introduction: A benchmarking survey of Canadian health facility libraries was conducted to provide statistical data to support health librarians in the anagement of their libraries. The objectives were to determine the status of
hospital libraries in Canada and to evaluate whether libraries meet the 2006 CHLA/ABSC Standards for Library and Information Services in Canadian Healthcare Facilities.
Methods: An online survey of 63 questions, with headings of institutional profile, administration, staffing, environment, resources, and services, was created and distributed to 250 heads of hospital libraries and to Canadian library email listservs.
Results: Many libraries are meeting some aspects of the Standards for administration and organization, management, traditional promotion, and accessibility. Areas of improvement include services, nontraditional promotion, library environment, and staffing.
Discussion: There are no current benchmarking data available for Canadian hospital libraries and there have been many political, economic, and technological changes in past years that have had a substantial impact on libraries. Anecdotal data suggest that librarians have responded to these changes through library closures, mergers, consortial affiliations, and modifications to services. Librarians will be able to use the collected data to compare services, establish best practices, make management decisions, and prepare self-studies for accreditation purposes.
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