Coronavirus (1022) Pivotal in a pandemic: an interview with Ian Roberts, head of the WHO libraries

10 October, 2020

Dear HIFA colleagues,

I recommend this excellent interview with Ian Roberts, head of WHO libraries and HIFA Steering Group member. Abstract and a comment from me below. Full text here:

Journal of EAHIL 2020; Vol. 16 (3): 6-11

ABSTRACT: This interview with the head of the World Health Organization’s Library Service took place in May 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The interview provides a snapshot of how COVID-19 has affected the library service in an organization which is at the centre of disseminating information and providing leadership duringthe pandemic. In the interview, various aspects of managing a library service during a pandemic are discussed, including: how the library copes with high demand; how they maintain a high-quality search and retrieval service; how they make use of partnerships; what are the emerging "lessons learned" for their service; and how they try to take care of their well-being.

COMMENT (NPW): Towards the end of the interview Ian says: 'Our new strategy for the next five years is completely digital and mostly concerned withhow to open up and make access to knowledge and information as easy as possible'. HIFA looks forward to continue our longstanding collaboration with WHO to accelerate progress towards a world where every person has access to the reliable healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of others, and to be protected from misinformation. On behalf of HIFA I would also like to express our solidarity with Ian's team and with all staff at WHO. I know first-hand through our regular communications how you have all been working to keep the world safe and reliably informed.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: