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A library technician stands in portrait
October 23, 2018

Introducing… a library technician

Sandy Culley is a library technician with staff library services in the clinical practice and education department at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). She has been with HHS for 22 years and is based at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.

What do you do?

I provide access to high-quality information to our staff, doctors and learners in support of best practices for patient care, education and research.

I help people focus on what’s most relevant to them. Then, I help them use the appropriate resources to retrieve that information. Our team provides database search instruction, document retrieval and runs mediated literature searches. We ensure our electronic resources are easily accessible and manage HHS’ library collection.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the multifaceted and collaborative nature of my job. Though my library colleagues and I are not on the front lines, we work behind the scenes to support the different health care teams across HHS.

“We make it easier to get quality health information and move evidence-based practice forward.”

From locating journal articles for patient care, to running a comprehensive literature search for a quality improvement project, to providing staff instruction on how to navigate the resources on our clinical reference library. Every day is interesting.

It’s quite gratifying to see how our efforts apply to clinical practice and have an impact on decision-making. I am proud to know I make regular contributions by making it easier to get quality health information and move evidence-based practice forward.

What is your biggest challenge?

One of the biggest challenges in the library is to ease information overload. There is so much information published on a daily basis.

For example, every year, half a million citations are added to PubMed, a global database of medical and life sciences references. You can imagine how keeping up-to-date in the literature is a daunting task for anyone involved in health care.

“We aim to provide the right resources at the right time.”

The library services team advises on the most appropriate resources or methods. A point-of-care tool, like DynaMed Plus, provides synthesized, evidence-based information and sends practice changing alerts. Or, we also recommend a customized monthly literature search.

We help find the best option to meet your information needs and keep you current in the literature.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

It might surprise people to know we borrow and share resources with libraries across North America. This happens thanks to our involvement with the Hamilton and District Health Library Network, which includes McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. We aim to provide the right resources at the right time.