Ottawa Valley Health Libraries Association, Social media in health libraries, May 2012

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Ovhla header.gif

This start-page was created for an online workshop led by Daniel Hooker and Dean Giustini for the Ottawa Valley Health Libraries Association



This session introduces the use of the most popular social media tools (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter) in health libraries and health care. The instructors, both bloggers and users of various tools on desktops and mobile devices, refer to the research in a session combining one part didactic and one part hands-on learning. Several social media trends are discussed and made relevant to participants such as social networking, blogging, microblogging and other content generated by users on the social web. The pros and cons of the major social media tools are discussed; a range of handouts, resources and weblinks to background reading and research are provided.

Orientation to Workshop

  • This WebEx-delivered course is an introduction to social media and their use in health libraries
  • OVHLA participants will engage in interactive dialogue with two facilitators and each other
  • Handouts, presentations and resources will be sent beforehand to provide starting points for discussion
  • Instructors will share their experiences, perspectives and best practices of using social media
  • A pre-workshop survey will be used to determine OVHLA participants' awareness and knowledge of social media tools


  1. To introduce social media including blogs, wikis, Twitter and Facebook and outline their use in health libraries in 2012
  2. To provide examples of social media used by health librarians in Canada and the US
  3. To engage health librarians in discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of social media using practical examples from health care and health library contexts
  4. To begin a discussion about best practices in using social media in health libraries

Skills Gained During Workshop

By the end of this course, participants will:

  1. Be able to list and understand the core components of major social media tools useful for health librarians and their patrons
  2. Have practical examples of ways to implement social media effectively in health libraries
  3. Understand issues in social media implementation such as audiences, goal setting, measurement and
  4. Discuss the impact of new social awareness services in health and medicine, and engage in thinking about future trends

Thursday May 3rd, 2012 - Tentative schedule

Blogging with passion!
Image by Mike Licht



  • Orientation to WebEx
  • Dean Giustini and Daniel Hooker profiles
  • Workshop format; goals & objectives

Introduction to social media


  • Definitions, trends and features
  • Range of social media tools used in medicine/health library communication

I: Blog and wiki platforms (creation)



II: Information sharing (exploration)


III: Social networks and communities (collaboration, connection)


Break (20 mins)


IV: Mobiles and access issues of many candid tweets that get attention on Twitter


V: Evidence-based social media and the future


VI: Questions and Discussion

3:40 - 4:00 Q&A

Further Reading

  1. Ashmore A, Giustini D, Hooker D. To share is to learn: Using social media to take libraries to learners. Simon Fraser University Library. HLABC Presentation, October 21st, 2010.
  2. Bahner DP, Adkins E, Patel N, Donley C, Nagel R, Kman NE. How we use social media to supplement a novel curriculum in medical education. Med Teach. 2012 Mar 27.
  3. Barsky E, Giustini D. Introducing web 2.0: wikis for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. Fall 2007 28(4): 147-15
  4. Barsky E, Cho A. Introducing web 2.0: social search for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2007
  5. Barsky E. Introducing web 2.0: RSS trends for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2006;27(1):7-8.
  6. Barsky E. Introducing web 2.0: weblogs and podcasting for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2006 (27):33-34.
  7. Boulos MNK, Maramba I, Wheeler S. Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. BMC Med Ed. 2006;6:41.
  8. Giustini D. Blog code(s) of conduct: some legal considerations for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2011;32:101-103.
  9. Giustini D. Social media for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2010;32(2):73-75.
  10. Giustini D, Hooker D, Cho A. Social cataloguing: an overview for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2009;30(4):133-38.
  11. Giustini D, Wright MD. Twitter: an introduction to microblogging for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2009;30(1):
  12. Giustini D. How web 2.0 is changing medicine. BMJ. 333(7582): 1283-84.
  13. Giustini D. How web 2.0 is changing medicine. (Powerpoint presentation)
  14. Kamel Boulos MN. The emerging web 2.0 social software: an enabling suite of sociable technologies in health and health care education. Health Info Libr J. 2007;24(1):2-23.
  15. Korda H, Itani Z. Harnessing social media for health promotion and behavior change. Health Promot Pract. 2011 May 10.
  16. McMahon TM, Powell JE, Hopkins M. Social awareness tools for science research. D-Lib Magazine. 2012;18(3/4).
  17. Murray S, Giustini D, Loubani T, Choi S, Palepu A. Medical research and social media: can wikis be used as a publishing platform in medicine. Open Med. 2009;3(3):121–122.
  18. Read K, Giustini D. Social media for health care managers (HCMs): creating a workshop in collaboration with the UBC Centre for Health Care Management. JCHLA / JABSC. 2011;32(3):157-163.

Presentations & workshops

Personal tools