With the main objective of strengthening the Virtual Health Library Network (VHL), the coordinators of VHL instances in Latin America and the Caribbean (LA&C) and BIREME discuss and define an Action Plan for the year 2020.
To prepare the plan, the main needs and points of care of the VHL Instances in the countries of Latin America, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Spain were identified. The VHL Instances of Brazil and the English Caribbean were not included because they already have specific action plans.
To identify these needs, BIREME carried out a survey with the countries between January 16 and February 6. Based on the responses received from the VHL coordinators from 17 countries, the structure of the plan with macro activities distributed in 5 major courses of action was proposed and presented to the Network: Network Management, Extension of Bibliographic Control, Updating VHL Portals, Governance and Users.
The main goals included in the macro activities were:
- Management of the VHL network: Map the health institutions that have a library, update the contact details in the Network directory, identify the health information resources, identify the technical strengths and weaknesses for information management, define and share responsibilities, provide training, technical and methodological support to the network and create users for the new cooperating centers in the FI-Admin system;
- Updating and expanding bibliographic control: Establish or update the criteria for the selection and registration of information materials, create the national database, migrate data from the lildbi databases to fi-admin, establish the collaborative flow for the bibliographic control in the local information sources and in LILACS, analyze the health science magazines of the country or thematic area according to the established criteria, map other types of publications (thesis, unconventional material, books, among others), and maintain regular contribution to the LILACS database;
- VHL portal development or update: Install or update the version of the VHL management tool, map the content and sources of information, define or adjust the portal’s information architecture, publish the VHL with the updated information and design, configure the portal access measurement service, configure the iahx integrated search service, develop windows of knowledge linked to the priorities of the country or thematic area;
- VHL Governance: Map the health institutions to form or reactivate the Advisory Committee, hold the Advisory Committee meeting, publish the meeting reports, define specific action plans and publish follow-up reports;
- VHL users: Carry out a satisfaction study and identify the users’ needs, define a strategy to expand the number of accesses to the portal and carry out promotion and dissemination activities for VHL users.
The implementation of the Plan will be monitored through general meetings at the end of each quarter and individual meetings between the BIREME team and the VHL coordinators, upon request.
It should be highlited that on March 27, 2020 the VHL turned 22 years and it continues to be strengthened through the collective effort of its Network of Cooperating Centers. Faced with the current challenge of facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the VHL reaffirms its importance together with the institutions that make up its network, and that share responsibility for the production and operation of the content network, to provide selected and updated informtion sources on the disease.
For updated information on the action plan, meetings, presentations, dates and other topics, access the page: http://red.bvsalud.org/modelo-bvs/es/fortalecimiento-de-la-red-bvs-alc-plan-accion-2020/.