One Health One World

Hello MLAers and other library professionals!  I’m Kelly Thormodson, Head of Education and Outreach at the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa.  For those of you unfamiliar with the United States of America that is in the middle of the country, half way between New York and San Francisco. I’m happy to be one of the official bloggers this year, I’ll be posting about Section programing. I encourage everyone to join a Section.  You get to meet lots of people and get involved in the profession.  I am living proof!  I am the incoming Chair of the Public Services Section, aka PSS, and I say if you want to have fun this year in MLA join me in PSS.  Stop by the MLA Sections Booth and sign up for free.  Try it out!

Meanwhile, here in Boston, I attended the Section Programming entitled Surveying Current One Health Initiatives.  This session included five papers from around the world discussing how libraries have gotton involved in a such a global initiative.  I’m just going to summarize the high points but I encourage you to check out the official program for more specific information about this session.

In North Carolina’s research triangle, Duke, NC State and UNC offer an academic for-credit One Health course.  LIbrarians at each institute worked together to teach sessions on how to stay current on One Health issues, find information via RSS feeds and newspapers, and to look for information bias in addition to helping the students with research projects and each other with discipline specific databases in animal, human and ecologic health.  In addition they created a tri-college LibGuide to complement the course.

At the University of Pretoria in South Africa, a research station is reclaimed in the Mnisi community where there was a chance to really look at One Health via the mix of wild and domestic animals and humans in the same remote region.  At the station, the librarian at the University found an abandoned library that had great research data and reports, books and maps that needed to be organized and prepped for access.  This opportunity to reopen the library and station is giving people there and worldwide access to a wealth of information.

At Texas A&M One Health is a campus wide initiative.  Spurred on by the gulf oil spill, the Univ. made the effort to bring together people from every college and department to a One Health committee.  The Library has contributed to the effort with campus outreach including systematic review workshops, informal and social learning experiences and special events and alternative learning spaces to allow students from agriculture and life science, veterinary and biomedical and the health science center to all come together and look at One Health.

Meanwhile OIE, FAO and WHO are working together on One World, One Health.  Due to the avian flu, these international groups are working together to create strategic initiatives related to animal, human and ecosystems and the globalized world where early dedtection is needed.  For more information, visit www.oie.net where you can find strategic plans and ideas for One World, One Health.

And in Finland, the librarians are involved One Health which is part of the unified vision of the veterinary education and curriculum.  Vet students are taught basic veterinary science, pre-clinical science and applied content, animal welfare and department of meat inspection training as well as information literacy, introduction to scientific work, ethics which will lead to life long learning.  One Health starts with better education.

Day one at MLA Boston and I’ve learned lots!  Hope it is helpful to you too.