The Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) held its 2023 conference under the theme “Innovation: Opportunities and Challenges in Caribbean Libraries, Museums and Archives”. João Paulo Souza, Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO), and Marcia Y. Barretto, Coordinator of Information Technology Infrastructure, Manager of Administration and Support to Programs and Projects at BIREME/PAHO/WHO, participated with a video in the roundtable of Virtual Libraries in Health, held on June 5, 2023. This event was chaired by Ayaana Alleyne Cumberbatch, Medical Sciences Library, University of West Indies, St. Augustine.
João Paulo Souza and Marcia Y. Barretto presented virtually the theme “Virtual Health Library (VHL): sustainability and innovation towards the future”, as a component of BIREME’s innovation for Latin America and the Caribbean in the period 2023-2025.
And yet, focusing on the 25 years of the VHL and, therefore, pointing the way to the future, considering sustainability, innovation and alignment with international science and technology standards. Below, the main topics addressed:
– 25 years of the VHL: current status;
– Main sources of information: LILACS and DeCS;
– Information products and services: some highlights;
– Upcoming products and services of the VHL: use of new and emerging technologies to position the VHL as the most up-to-date tool to access relevant evidence available for health action.
The VHL completes 25 years in 2023
The VHL emerged as a model, structure and strategy of scientific and technical information based on a decentralized, collaborative and networked approach for the management of information and exchange of knowledge in health.
The VHL was launched in March 1998, with the Declaration of San José, approved during the IV Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information (CRICS). In this Declaration, the representatives of the countries recognized that access to information is one of the central elements to achieve equity in health; that the new information and communication technologies represent risks and opportunities for human development in the Region; and that the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Information System, under the leadership of BIREME, has the capacity to control these technologies, adapting them to the reality of the region.
Based on these premises, they have made a commitment to cooperatively build the VHL, strengthen capacities and infrastructures, and facilitate broad access by the technical-scientific communities to information for the permanent improvement of health and for the sustainable human development of the region.
The operation of the VHL and associated networks contributes to promoting the visibility, access, use and impact of information sources in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as access to international reference sources.
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