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Library Services

All the information you need to navigate the library.

Literature Searches

Who Can Request Literature Searches?

  • All Northern Health staff, physicians, affiliated physicians and residents.

    • Exclusions: For staff - if you are taking an academic course via a university / college, please contact your academic library directly for support. Clinical students working onsite should also contact their academic library for help first. 

‚ÄčWhat Should You Include in Your Question?

  • Provide details about your question concepts and their relationship to one another.
  • Question formats may include "patient/problem, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes (PICO)" or a description of the population and situation/context and interest areas.

*Check out the Literature Search Subject Guide for tools and instructions to develop your search.* 

Make a Request 

What Happens After You Submit a Request?

  1. You will receive confirmation it has been received (By auto email reply from library account.)
  2. You may be asked for more information to clarify the search. 
  3. Urgent requests: Direct and immediate patient care only
  4. Non-urgent requests: Anything that is not needed for an immediate care decision. 
    • These are queued based on volume and with respect for project deadlines as much as is possible.
  5. You will receive:
    • A summary of search terms and databases/resources consulted
    • Citations and abstracts for review
    • Information about getting full text copies of articles

Library Orientation and Training


  • To build capacity in the specific skills needed to use information retrieval tools for evidence informed practice 
  • To increase knowledge and awareness of evidence informed practice approaches
Just-In-Time Training / Customized Training
  • Meets a specific need for a specific group
  • Booked within a time frame that supports an upcoming project deadline, or a workgroup meeting where skills training or information sharing on library services is complimentary to planned actions
  • Can be delivered 1-to-1 or to groups, and via Skype or in person
  • Allows you to practice skills post-training because you have a current project in mind – this is a great way to reinforce search skills as you work through your project afterwards!
  • Provides brief overview of the library’s website and services, and may be:
    • Offered as a part of a staffing intake (E.g. Nursing Orientation Trade Show format)
    • Planned as an activity embedded within yearly or regular team meetings
    • Provided at the request of anyone interested in library services for themselves or their staff

Request training:

Interlibrary Loan

COVID-19 Note regarding ILL: Please see the Interlibrary Loan Information (box near bottom of update) on our COVID-19 Facility & Services Update Page - there may be delays depending on your request. 

Books: Is there a book you'd like to check out but the library doesn't have it?

Send the library an email with the details and we can try and locate it for you. Please note: 

  • It can take up to 10 days to receive a book from another institution. Keep this in mind if you have a tight timeline. 
  • Some lenders do not allow renewals (e.g. 3 weeks loan total). 
  • If we cannot find your book at a lender, we will ask you how important it is to your work area to determine if it should be added to the library's collection. Or, we can help you find a similar title that may be useful. 

Articles: The library can get full text articles from other libraries. If you can't find your article in full text at Northern Health, simply email the library with the citation information to request it. 


  • Timelines: The average turnaround time for articles from other lenders is 24-48 hours, however, some can take much longer. Please plan ahead for full text requests.
  • Urgent Patient Care: Clinical articles or items needed to counsel patients for an immediate urgent nature, can be rushed in the lending system with usually a 24 hour turnaround time or faster. 
  • Costs: The library covers the costs associated with borrowing full text content on your behalf. You can assist us with this by carefully selecting the articles you wish to review in full text - review the titles and abstract for currency, quality (e.g. systematic review) and publication relevance.

Offsite Access to Library Resources

The library's resources are best accessed when you are working onsite at Northern Health locations. You can also use your VPN connection for easier access. 

Copyright Guidance

The library supports the development of Northern Health's Copyright Policy. Check out the Copyright Policy Document on OurNH to get an overview of Fair Dealing, how to manage article sharing, using images and obtaining permissions for copyrighted works. 

Suggestion for Purchase

Is there something you think the library should have in its collection? Please send suggestions to