Health2.0 & Library2.0: Power to the User (and the Librarians)

Tuesday afternoon was the hands-on course by Guus van den Brekel and Dorine Kieft-Wondergem (UMCG) . All Continuing Education Courses (CEC) were in the National Library of Health Science Terkko.

Upfront I had the idea that by following this course I could learn more in this one afternoon then when I would have tried everything by myself for weeks. At the end of the course I was happy that I had chosen this course. I don’t know everything now, but the course has given me more insights, possibilities and consequences to think thoroughly about and that is what this whole conference is about for me. Exchanging knowledge and experiences with collegues and friends.

So what was the course about? Guus and Dorine set 5 rules for this course:
– a practical approach;
– learn from eachother;
can do all these things;
– pragmatic basis;
– keep on learning.

After a short introduction by all participants we went on with the main focus of this training “power to the user (and the librarians)”. It is all about visibility of the library. There are so many tools out on the web, ready for everybody to use. These tools are webbased so you don’t need your IT department. (Everybody YEAH!!!!:-)
Libraries should go and get out on the web, were the users are. Even making libraries services portable as many users now have portable devices.

Examples of these tools are toolbars which Guus has made for many EAHIL libraries. There is even an EAHIL toolbar available!

The rest of the course focussed on Netvibes. Netvibes is the ideal and free tool for making a personalized information page for the library and all of its users, by getting a so called ‘Universe’. (You can find an example of the UMCG universe here). Netvibes can not only be used for reading and collecting RSS feeds, but also for saving bookmarks and links to sites of interest. Favorites don’t travel and are not updated. When using a webbased tools like netvibes they do!

You also have the possibility to include widgets, ie. a searchbox for searching PubMed, or a link with Facebook. By picking the widgets you want you can build your own personal page.

Guus and Dorine build a universe for EAHIL 2008. (You can also find more information on the course on that site. During the course the participants have suggested several enhancements, new widgets etc. Please feel free to contact Guus or Dorine eahil2008 [at] to pass on more ideas, tips etc.


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