WHO Librarian Reserve Corps: Volunteers Globally Search During Public Health Events



Penn State health sciences librarian volunteers for WHO Librarian Reserve Corps

WE ARE Helping the World Health Organization

by News: Penn State University

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Several months ago, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) — a partnership of the World Health Organization (WHO) that mobilizes resources to respond to acute public health events — was overwhelmed with the amount of literature being published related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To get the help they needed to manage this information, GOARN formed the Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC), an organization composed of volunteer librarians.

When the call for volunteers went out, Brad Long, embedded health sciences librarian with the Harrell Health Sciences Library at Penn State College of Medicine’s University Park location, knew he had to join.

“For me, it was just the right thing to do,” said Long, who learned of the initiative through the Medical Library Association MEDLIB-L listserv. “I was already helping with the University Libraries’ and College of Medicine’s responses to the pandemic. I jumped at the opportunity to provide an impact on a larger scale.”

A few weeks later, Long was called to serve on a team of librarians searching for literature on hand sanitization in low-water environments without access to alcohol-based products. He was assigned specifically to search the grey literature. As he explained, grey literature is …read more:


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