UW Health Sciences Library

HSL Narrative Summary

The mission of the Health Sciences Library (HSL) at University of Washington (UW) is to advance scholarship, research, education and healthcare by anticipating information needs, by providing essential resources and services, and by facilitating learning for the greater health sciences community. To achieve this mission, the 36.26 FTE librarians, paraprofessionals and student workers of the HSL support and collaborate with a wide set of users from students, faculty and researchers at UW to librarians, health professionals, researchers and interested citizens in the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest. For example, currently, HSL supports more than 25,000 employees of UW Medicine with 2,374 employed faculty at the School of Medicine, 4,683 faculty across the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) region programs and over 4,700 medical students and trainees. Some examples of the support provided include, but are not limited to:

  • Educating and assisting users to identify, evaluate and manage information
  • Providing on-site and remote access to information resources in a variety of formats
  • Offer a shared physical and virtual learning commons in support of evidence-based practice and life-long learning
  • Conducting literature searches and providing research support

Additionally, HSL specifically supports the education and research of six schools at UW:

Because the users can be anywhere and anytime, HSL provides many of the information resources online with its core collection strength focused on clinical reference tools, biomedical and health sciences research databases and evidence-based healthcare resources. As of 2019, HSL has:

  • 357 databases, from point-of-care resources such as DynaMed to research databases such as Web of Science
  • 16,382 eBooks from 24 providers, and 162,563 print books, from which chapters can be scanned, or the print volume mailed to affiliated users
  • 13,138 eJournals from 603 providers, and 170 print journals, from which articles can be scanned and sent to affiliated users

Affiliated users can also have access to resources throughout the entire UW Libraries system as well as regional consortia. These users also have library services provided by the entire UW Libraries in addition to those provided by HSL. All of this can be accessed via the HSL website that includes online toolkits and research guides to help manage information overload.

As UW Medicine becomes an accountable care network of over 70 medical centers, hospitals, clinics and individual and group practices, and the push for expansion of the five state WWAMI residency program , the library and librarians are tasked to provide quality services in the arena of health information. Each school, medical center department and residency program have an assigned librarian responsible for coordinating services to that program area. These services include:

  • Education and instruction on information management and evidence-based practice
  • Individual and small group consultations, training and orientation
  • Collection development and online toolkits/research guides
  • Systematic review, comparative effectiveness, guideline or meta-analyses consultations, search development and publishing support (see http://guides.lib.uw.edu/hsl/sr)

In addition to the online resources and services, HSL still provides the physical library space for study, research and learning. The Commons in HSL has over 166 PCs and Macs in four classrooms and open spaces along with smartboards and AV equipment. The library also provides physical course reserves, study rooms that can be reserved, models, printing/scanning stations, and after-hours access to affiliated users with keycards.

HSL manages HEALWA under contract with the Washington State Department of Health. HEALWA assures affordable, anytime, online access to current, authoritative clinical information and educational resources to eligible healthcare practitioners in WA state. This is in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health. The program is well-received by Washington State health care providers as a primary source for evidence-based information in support of patient care. As the only evidence-based, statewide health information portal in the country, this unique and forward-thinking program continues to attract attention and interest from health care provider groups within Washington State and beyond.

The HSL is also under contract with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to operate the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), Region 5. The Region 5 Regional Medical Library (RML) ensures that health professionals in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States can obtain information for research, clinical or public health practice. It also ensures that the public health information consumer of these five states can find credible information to help the health information consumer make informed decision for themselves and their families.

As healthcare changes, HSL and its librarians continue to look forward to providing innovative services and resources to ensure its users can achieve the “Triple Aim" goals of quality patient care experience, improving the health of populations and making healthcare more affordable.

For more information, please see the HSL Statistical Summary. If you need a custom HSL summary to support a grant or accreditation, please contact Michael Moore, Grants Administration and Special Projects Librarian, at mtmoore@uw.edu.