Health and Biosciences Libraries Section (HBS) members are from all regions of the world and from a wide range of sectors — academic and hospital libraries to national libraries and government agencies as well as LIS lecturers and researchers. Together we seek to provide a global voice on health and related information.

Our current areas of focus are:

  • Promoting the role of librarians in improving citizens’ health literacy.
  • Raising the voice and profile of health librarians globally, especially from LMICs (low and middle-income countries).

Since 2018 our special interest group Evidence for Global and Disaster Health (E4GDH) has worked to promote and strengthen the roles that librarians play in times of disaster and in response to global health challenges.

Some of our recent accomplishments are:

Showcasing how librarians contribute to improved health literacy for their communities

In October 2019, our IFLA special journal issue Health information transforming lives was published. This was a truly international issue, with articles from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, and North America.

The upcoming launch of the IFLA book Growing Community Health Literacy through Libraries: Sharing Global Perspectives, sponsored by HBS. Soft launched during IFLA WLIC 2019, this is now due for publication in Autumn 2020.

Hosting our first webinar, in collaboration with our sponsored special interest group

Working closely with Evidence for Global and Disaster Health SIG, we held our first webinar in May 2020: Combating digital health inequality in the time of coronavirus. This built on Bob Gann’s article in our special issue of IFLA Journal; the webinar recognises that digital inequality has been brought into sharper focus by the impact of COVID-19.  [The webinar recording, as well as a copy of slides, the presentation transcript, and other information are available on the IFLA HBS website.]

Working in partnership

HBS has a strong model of working closely with the regional network European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL), leading to greater reach for our activities. Our current work with the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) network – a regional health library network like EAHIL, with 46 member countries across Africa – is drawing on this approach.

This unit is part of the Professional Division G.
This unit is sponsoring the Evidence for Global and Disaster Health Special Interest Group.

Note: The header at the top this unit’s website includes photographs by East Carolina University, Indiana University, and Laura James – Pexels.