My initial plan for the blog this week was to provide a review of something intellectual and literary. Nice thought. Unfortunately it’s hard to be intellectual when you have a magic bag strapped to your head and a box of Kleenex at your fingertips. This blogger is sick, germs passed on, no doubt, by her family, all of whom have had the same symptoms: runny nose, blocked sinus, earache, fever. I’m just generally feeling yucky, and not much like writing a literary review.
Which brings me to the new focus of this blog – health information. The Library is a treasure trove of information on health issues. We do promote these resources at places like health fairs and seniors and family expos but for the most part people’s eyes glaze over and they find a sudden need to have a free blood sugar check if we get too intense. Suffice it to say, people don’t really pay much attention until they have a need. Then, when we provide them with the info they need, their eyes light up and they are SO impressed and they suddenly think the library is the bees knees. Well, OK, that’s a bit extreme too, but I’m prone to exaggeration, especially when I have the sniffles.
In addition to books, of which we have many on a variety of health issues, we subscribe to two online databases which might interest you. They both require a valid library card number, which of course is also free and available online (www.ssrlibrary.ca):
The Cochrane Collaboration is an international not-for-profit organization, providing up-to-date information about the effects of health care. The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. It includes reliable evidence from Cochrane and other systematic reviews, clinical trials, and more. Cochrane reviews bring you the combined results of the world’s best medical research studies, and are recognised as the gold standard in evidence-based health care. Go to our website (www.ssrlibrary.ca) and scroll to the bottom of the page.
The Infotrac health and wellness resource centre provides instant access to carefully compiled and trusted medical reference materials from 1980 – January 2008. It includes nearly 400 health/medical journals, numerous reference volumes, over 700 health videos from partner Healthology, Inc., hundreds of pamphlets and health-related articles from 2,200 general interest publications in addition to a broad collection of Gale reference titles. Material contained in this Resource Center is intended for informational purposes only. A quick search of the topic ‘breast cancer’ shows 85 books and fact sheets, 35,780 magazines and journal articles, 35 drug references, 24 videos and 237 news articles. This may seem overwhelming but you can narrow your search and limit the items found to a more manageable number. Go to www.ssrlibrary.ca, click research on the left menu bar and enter your library card number at the prompt.
Wonder what I’d find if I searched for “cure for the common cold”? Perhaps I’ll look, after I finish my chicken soup…