Joanne Gard Marshall
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This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, May 2017
Joanne Gard Marshall (1945 — ) (semi-retired), Canadian health librarian, researcher and educator, known for her contributions to the profession of medical librarianship. Marshall has inspired others to engage in research and has won many honours and awards. Born in the United Kingdom, she moved to British Columbia, Canada in 1952 and graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor of science degree in 1966. Thereafter she attended McGill University where she completed her master of library science degree in 1968. Her PhD "The adoption and implementation of online information technology by health professionals" was completed in 1987. (See timeline.) In 2007, Marshall was interviewed at UNC-Chapel Hill about evidence-based library and information practice and broadcast on YouTube. She discusses efforts in her career to link research to practice.
Librarian, researcher and academic
Joanne's first position as a reference librarian was at the University of Calgary. In December 1969, she left to work at Rutgers University and followed her husband to McMaster University in 1970. This led to the beginning of Marshall's work as a health librarian. At the time, McMaster had just opened a medical school which was based on the idea of problem-based learning where small groups were self-directed in their learning. Marshall integrated herself into the educational and clinical activities of the school before it was common for medical librarians to do so.
In 1978, Marshall completed her master of health sciences (MHSc) degree. Her thesis was entitled "An Assessment of the Level of Medical Knowledge of Patients with Crohn's Disease." She received funding to establish a clinical librarian program at this time, and worked closely with clinical teams from 1978 to 1982, bringing information to the clinic and at point of care. By 1982, the article she wrote describing the randomized trial for her clinical librarian project was awarded the Ida and George Eliot Prize from the MLA - Medical Library Association (U.S.).
In 1987, after completing her PhD, Marshall accepted a teaching position at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information Studies. During her time there, she held cross-appointments in the Department of Health Administration, the Centre for Health Promotion and the Centre for Studies in Aging. She taught many courses, including special information centres, health sciences resources, online retrieval and research methods. Marshall engaged in a variety of projects thereafter with various library organizations, and worked with her MLA chapter and other librarians and physicians. She later produced a report on the impact of the hospital library on clinical decision-making, calling it the Rochester study. An article based on the project earned her a second Eliot prize in 1993.
Marshall's publication of the Rochester Study led to two other studies that used similar methodologies. The first examined the impact of the special library on corporate decision making, and the second at the impact of government libraries at Health Canada. Additional research using the methodology was conducted at the British Library. In 1991, three health libraries in Ontario were given the opportunity to study the impact of problem-based learning (PBL) on the use of library resources and services. At the time, McMaster's medical program was problem-based, the University of Western Ontario had one PBL day a week for first-year students and the University of Toronto had not initiated PBL. In the final assessment, PBL students used library resources extensively and a number of follow-up studies used Marshall's methodology.
Marshall has a keen interest in consumer health information and combined with her research expertise she has participated in a number of successful projects. Chief among these was her leadership in securing funding for the Consumer Health Information Service (CHIS) at the Toronto Reference Library in partnership with the Toronto Hospital (General Division) and other stakeholders. She continues to work work on CHIS through the National Library of Medicine–funded NC Health Info project and colleagues at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library. Joanne supports the activities of several library associations, including the Medical Library Association, the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada (CHLA/ABSC), and the Special Libraries Association (SLA).
Awards and honours
Marshall has received many awards and honors that recognize her valuable contributions to health librarianship. She was made a Fellow of MLA in 2002, a Fellow of SLA in 2001 and a Life Member of CHLA/ABSC in 2000. In 2004, Marshall assumed an elected position as president of the Medical Library Association. In recognition of her contributions to information and library science, Marshall received an alumni distinguished professorship. She received an honorary doctorate from McGill University in 2005.