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Library Services

Farid Miah

Library Services Committee Chair Farid Miah

Sunnybrook Library Services is your connection to the latest medical information resources. This year, we created a whole new way to connect you to high-quality and evidence-based medical information resources on cancer. On April 6, 2016 we launched the Cancer Information Portal (CIP), the first comprehensive cancer portal of its kind in the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN). As a one-stop shop, the CIP is an easy to use online tool that provides curated cancer information resources for Sunnybrook staff, students, volunteers, patients and families.

Users can access internal and external resources, such as the library’s premium subscribed databases, journals, print and electronic books as well as reliable open access content. During the development stage of the portal, we met with stakeholders across the Odette Cancer Centre and held focus groups to decide which types of resources our users need to support their cancer-related patient care, teaching and research. The portal includes categories in various clinical areas in the field of oncology as well as categories such as cancer news, interprofessional collaboration, patient education and more. We have carefully curated these resources and built a user-friendly tool so that our clinicians, research scientists, staff and students can save time in finding the information they need on a daily basis from one central area.

Access points for the CIP can be found on various departmental intranet pages on Sunnynet, including the Library Services, Odette Cancer Centre and Medical Education homepages as well as on SunnyCare. The patient education component of the portal is publicly available on the internet at The portal is accessible 24/7 from any computer or mobile device connected to the network at Sunnybrook. We continue to update the CIP as new resources become available and, as always, welcome feedback and resource recommendations from our users.

This portal brings the library to the screens of our users. We plan to continue increasing our online presence so our users can stay connected with the information they need to deliver the best patient care, teaching and research at Sunnybrook. We plan to create more information portals for Sunnybrook’s other priority programs in the future, according to program needs and priorities.

Sunnybrook Library Services provides new print and e-books, databases, journals and other resources to different areas of research and care across the hospital to help improve patient care, education, teaching and research. We also updated our patient education collection to include new books that are accessible and relevant for patients. In the past year we added approximately 200 new books and e-books relevant to Sunnybrook’s priority programs as well as other hospital departments. We have been able develop our collection to meet users’ needs despite serious shortages in our collections budget.

In addition to connecting with users online, we continue to increase our in-person contact with the Sunnybrook community. We held orientation sessions for student groups and education leaders to teach them how Library Services can support teaching, learning, research and patient care. Our Library Services booth can be found at many Sunnybrook events such as World Diabetes Day or Surgical Oncology Education Day. Our monthly health awareness displays highlight resources for a different health topic each month and allows us to share information while connecting with staff and patients.

We also continue to support research and learning with our reference and literature searching services. Last year we received an increased number of requests for systematic review searches from researchers across various departments. These complex and time-consuming searches involve working closely with the user to create a comprehensive and accurate search strategy that can be applied across multiple databases to uncover relevant literature for their review. This paves the way for Sunnybrook researchers to publish more systematic reviews.

Our small team of professionals is proud to offer continuously high-quality and timely services to the hospital’s staff, students, trainees and volunteers and to meet the information needs of the Sunnybrook community.

We plan to develop FAQ-based video tutorials about the library’s resources, services and facilities in the coming months to augment technology-enhanced learning experiences. Our staff will create these short online videos using a screen-capture program that makes it easy for viewers to follow along with on-screen instruction. These videos will focus on using and accessing various library resources and will be available from any computer on site for convenient access.