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Irish Health Libraries: New Directions - Report on the Status of Health Librarianship & Libraries in Ireland (SHELLI)


Harrison, J., Creaser, C. and Greenwood, H.

Subject Keywords: Library, efficient, Evidence-based, Health service
Type: Report
Region: All-island

Health librarians in Ireland face significant challenges. The country’s financial crisis means that the resources needed to support professional development, to maintain knowledge-based information resources and to overcome existing gaps in service provision will be hard won. This report argues that, despite these difficulties, health librarians in Ireland have the capacity to match international best practice and to continue to make a significant contribution to Irish health care. For this capacity to be realised, health librarians must see that the diverse and valuable role they currently play in the health system is fully recognised. Greater advocacy and systematic evaluation of health libraries will provide the evidence base that will consolidate the supportive view of the profession held by stakeholders and academia. It is essential to leverage this support so that health librarians can fully play their role in the development of an efficient, evidence-based and progressive health service in Ireland.

Why was this report commissioned?
The Health Sciences Libraries Group (HSLG) of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) commissioned this study for the following reasons:
» to gain a broad understanding of what is happening in practice;
» to gain knowledge about international best practice; and
» to inform the strategic development and sustainability of health libraries and librarianship in Ireland.

The Department of Information Science and the Library and Information Statistics Unit (LISU) at Loughborough University undertook the study between December 2010 and March 2011.The research gathered both stakeholder and librarian views. Stakeholders include leaders of service users in academia and in clinical settings and policy makers in the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE).



Rights: © Library Association of Ireland
Suggested citation:

Harrison, J., Creaser, C. and Greenwood, H.. (2011) Irish Health Libraries: New Directions - Report on the Status of Health Librarianship & Libraries in Ireland (SHELLI) [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26th August 2019].


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