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Strategies for Increasing Internet Access to Restricted Resources

Health sciences librarians are embracing new technologies to provide evidence-based information when and where it is needed, supporting the clincian at the bedside, the researcher in the office, and the consumer at home. Open access to the Internet is needed to make full use of Web 2.0 technologies, yet many health care organizations are cautious to allow libraries unrestricted access to download and implement these new tools. The resources listed here outline strategies to promote increased Internet access and provide guidance for the implementation and use of social media in medical libraries.

Working with the IT Department

One method for establishing the need for more web access is to have a greater understanding of how your organization makes use of technology.  Reach out to other departments and build working relationships, especially with the Information Technology areas. Some specific strategies are:

  • Add an IT person to the Library Committee or support group
  • Take some computer classes
  • Become more knowledgeable about technical systems and jargon
  • Add links to medical library resources on the hospital intranet
  • Define how library services fit into the institutional mission and how social media will be used within that framework
  • Build a case for the library as an exception to institutional policies
  • Technical Solutions
    • Use a server outside the firewall or a separate server for the library
    • Use a separate Internet connection such as a DSL line with a static IP address
    • Use a wireless device such as an iPad to provide access outside the hospital network

Developing a Social Media Plan

Strategies for Developing a Social Media Plan

  • Select one social media tool to focus on (Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.)
  • Design sample posts to illustrate how it will be used
  • Provide an estimate of the time required to implement
  • Devise an assessment plan

Resources for Designing a Social Media Plan

Going Social to Get Local: Engaging Your Community via Social Media
Overview of how Lawrence KS Public Library developed a strong social media presence and engaged their community. Includes good advice on developing and implementing a social media plan that is applicable to any type library.

Social Media for Libraries
Excellent introduction for the novice to social media and Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Includes rationale for supporting health sciences libraries' use of social media.

Twitter & Hospital Libraries
Informative and entertaining presentation on microblogging and Twitter, including examples for library use, guidelines and best practices.

CDC Social Media Tools, Guidelines & Best Practice
Provides assistance for planning, developing, and implementing social media activities including federal security requirements.

AHRQ Social Media Policies
Internet policies and standards for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Consultation on Internet Connectivity

Request an individual consultation with one of the MCR Technology coordinators to address your specific issues with barriers to internet access and restricted resources. We can also assist you in developing a social media plan and in evaluating your use of social media.

Contact: rml4@rml4.utah.edu.



Hospitals, Social Media and Compliance
Presentation about the move from blocked to open web access at the University of Maryland Medical System.

Libraries Leveraging Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media - The Krafty Librarian
Examples of how libraries are using social media and how it can be incorporated into the library web site to make it more valuable to users and more relevant to the library.