Canadian Virtual Health Library / Bibliothèque virtuelle canadienne de la santé (CVHL / BVCS)

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See also CHLA/ABSC (Canada) 800px-Flag of Canada.svg.png | Consumer health libraries in Canada | Health libraries

The Canadian Virtual Health Library / Bibliothèque virtuelle canadienne de la santé (CVHL / BVCS) was a project that received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) during a four-year period, 2009-2013. Its goal was to create a national virtual health library, and Jennifer Bayne was appointed CVHL Project Leader. Funding ran out in 2013 and the project was shuttered. The vision of the CVHL was to: contribute to improved health care and health promotion by making readily accessible, high-quality health information and evidence universally available to Canadian health care practitioners and health professionals for decision-making, policy and program development, research, continuous learning and professional development. The CVHL will contribute to effective and efficient operation of Canada's health care system by ensuring equitable access to health information and optimizing use of resources through coordination of existing services across the country.


  • What is the CVHL? (project closed in 2013)
    • A proposed national network of health libraries, CVHL has been envisioned as a way to deliver library services to health professionals across Canada and to realize efficiencies in resource sharing and consortial licensing of information resources.
  • What types of resources are going to be available? Commercial resources?
  • CVHL will renew a core set of resources common to health information consortia across Canada: CINAHL (all versions), Cochrane/EBMR (multi-platform); and potentially PsycInfo (all platforms) and STAT!Ref (core set of e-books common to all licensors). In addition, CVHL will create pathways to free high-quality, librarian-vetted resources on its website as part of its first step in supporting "equitable access to high-quality health information resources ... for all Canadian health professionals." Over time, both the licensed (commercial) and free resource offerings will be expanded.
  • How will the payment for these resources work?
    • Consortium members will continue to work directly with their consortium including payment processes. Consortia will then make their payments to CVHL rather than the vendors. The vendors will receive payment from CVHL. It should be noted that there is NO increase in fees to the consortia. Cost recovery will occur incrementally over time as we expand our resource offerings and extend to more user groups.
  • Will the program be for schools with medical programs or will nursing and allied health programs be included?
    • The program is for all health user groups. Therefore, individual institutions will continue to work through their consortium. If an institution does not have a consortium through which they can license resources, CVHL will direct that institution to a consortium that has the infrastructure to support them.
  • If there is a subsidy, when does it end? How can individual institutions get involved moving forward?
    • CVHL has been funded by an $800,000 CIHR grant over three years to create a network of regional, provincial and national programs with a significant health information licensing component in their business. The grant is not a subsidy for content; it is a one-time start-up grant to create the CVHL administrative infrastructure. Over the next three years CVHL will build that business infrastructure to become cost recovery and demonstrate proof of concept (a Canadian health information Network of Networks). CVHL will also, of course, continue to look for external funding over the short-term to cover start-up costs.

CVHL / BVCS Free Content Expert Panel

The Canadian Virtual Health Library / Bibliothèque virtuelle canadienne de la santé (CVHL / BVCS) announced the Web Content Strategy Expert Panel to assist in creating links to web content for health librarians and health professionals. The panel is comprised of the following members:

  • Natalie Clairoux MSc, MSI (Bibliothèque de la santé, Université de Montréal)
  • Tom Flemming MA, MLS, AHIP (retired)
  • Dean Giustini MLS, MEd (UBC Biomedical Branch Library)

The Web Content Strategy Expert Panel will provide their advice in identifying, evaluating, selecting and organizing non-licensed "free" content for the launch of the CVHL / BVCS website. This free content will serve as a complement to the resources that will eventually be licensed by CVHL / BVCS. Once a permanent structure is in place, an Advisory Committee will be established by CVHL / BVCS, which will provide on-going support for the selection, provision and development of content for the project.

The overall goal of the CVHL / BVCS Content Strategy is to help lead Canadian health professionals towards information that is:

  • Relevant to practice in Canadian health settings
  • Evidence-based or evidence-informed where required or necessary
  • Applicable at the point of care and
  • Of the highest quality available


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