The second joint E4GDH and HBS webinar took place on 19 August 2020.

Duration: 63 minutes.

Subtitles / closed captions are available – click on Settings then Subtitles/CC and select ‘English’.

Access to reliable data and information plays an important role in the response to the coronoavirus pandemic. This webinar highlights two outlets in which librarians are key players in humanitarian information efforts:

OpenStreetMap mappingpresented by Bethany McGowan, Assistant Professor of Information Studies and Health Sciences Information Specialist at Purdue University.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. The map geodata is the project’s primary output.

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is an international team dedicated to humanitarian action and community development through open mapping.

Together OSM and HOT are fighting COVID-19 via three key services:
1. using the UN Humanitarian Data Exchange and similar resources to meet the basic data needs of government agencies and first responders;
2. prioritizing mapping projects so that high-need and high-risk areas receive priority mapping;
3. creating new mapping projects in high-risk places.

Bethany illustrates how librarians can use mapping to both meet humanitarian information needs and as a data literacy instruction model for students.

Get Involved: A good starting point for prospective mappers:

Evidence Aid COVID-19 Evidence Collection presented by Jo Wood, Knowledge and Evidence Specialist for Health Improvement at Public Health England.

The Evidence Aid COVID-19 Evidence Collection contains summaries of high-quality systematic reviews related to the impact of COVID-19, written in English and translated into several other languages. The collection’s development required a multidisciplinary effort, including a team of translators, communications specialists, web designers, health care professionals, and librarians.

  • 386 systematic review summaries relevant to COVID-19 are now freely available on the Evidence Aid website.
  • Translations: 376 in Arabic; 376 in Chinese (simplified); 376 in Chinese (traditional); 376 in French; 47 in Italian; 376 in Portuguese; 376 in Spanish
    [As of 19th August 2020]

Jo describes how librarians and library services are helping health care providers and decision makers navigate the rapidly growing expanse of coronavirus-related literature.

Get Involved: If you would like to contribute to the work of Evidence Aid as a volunteer, please contact Claire Allen: [email protected].

Presentation slides

Accompanying resources


Presenter Biographies

Bethany McGowan is assistant professor of information studies and health sciences information specialist at Purdue University, specializing in health data & information literacy instruction and systematic review methodology. In addition to her MLIS, she holds an MS in human-computer interaction and is interested in digital technologies that support literacy instruction.

Jo Wood is the Knowledge and Evidence Specialist for Health Improvement at Public Health England. Since April 2020 she has been seconded part-time to Evidence Aid, initially to co-ordinate literature searches for their COVID-19 portal and is now their COVID-19 Project Co-ordinator. In 2019 Jo became a Fellow of CILIP: The UK Library and Information Association.