Celebrating 25 Years

2019 – Celebrating the People who have helped HKN Succeed

January 2, 2020

As a collaborative project of the University of Alberta Library and the University of Calgary Library, the HKN Office can be located at either of these post-secondary institutions, depending on where the General Manager is located.

When HKN began in 1994, the office was located at the University of Alberta in Edmonton with oversight provided by the Chief Librarians of both Universities. In 2001, the office moved to the University of Calgary where the current HKN Librarian resides.

In celebrating these past 25 years, HKN salutes its past General Managers, Georgia Makowski, Della Jacobson, Taryn Canete, Pat Sandercock, and Vivian Stieda, all of whom helped move HKN forward.

HKN also salutes the Health Sciences Librariy Heads and the Library Directors at each Partner University, whose clear direction and vision helped shape HKN.

And, of course, HKN salutes its most important partners, both the libraries it serves and the vendors with whom it negotiates. Their support over the past 25 years have ensured that HKN has remained relevant and sustainable.


2012: Alberta Health Services

December 9, 2019

In 2012, HKN becomes the licensing agent for Alberta Health Services’ Knowledge Resource Service, allowing AHS to extend its existing health region agreement to every hospital in the province.

While HKN has been the primary licensing agent for the Alberta health regions since 2008, merging the health regions along with the Alberta Mental Health Board and Alberta Cancer Board into a single license allows AHS to consolidate its subscriptions at a significant savings to AHS.


2009: HKN studies inequalities in access

October 15, 2019

In 2007, HKN begins a joint environmental scan with SEARCH Custom and IRREN (Inter-Regional Research and Evaluation Network) to investigate the differences in access to health information resources in Alberta, particularly between its five rural and two urban health regions. Their scan includes a survey to determine the inequalities between the regions and to discover what library resources are available.

The researchers find inequalities in access to licensed print and electronic health information resources and to trained information professionals. Rural health regions were found to be lacking in many of these key resources and there were disparities even between the rural regions. Urban health regions were found to have access, in some cases in abundance.

The results of the environmental scan are published in 2009 in Healthcare Quarterly, and health care administrators and policy makers make use of the findings to support health information access in Alberta.


2008: Evidence in Complementary Medicine

September 30, 2019

In April 2008, HKN co-hosts a symposium on complementary and alternative therapies in medicine with the Southern Alberta Health Libraries Association and the Northern Alberta Health Libraries Association. Speakers discuss how complementary medicine is integrated into traditional medicine and the evidence surrounding such.

Dr. Steven Aung discusses how he integrates Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM) into his clinical practice based in western medicine, such as the use of herbs, acupuncture, Qi Gong, and Tai-Chi.

Dr. Marja Verhoef discusses the evidence for the use of alternative therapies in medicine and the different views evidence: colloquial and scientific.


2007: Expansion into Manitoba

September 16, 2019

The University of Manitoba becomes the first organization in Manitoba to subscribe to HKN, effectively making Manitoba the third province to join HKN. It licenses Ovid’s LWW Total Access Collection, a full-text collection of key health journals. This sparks the beginning of other educational and health care facilities choosing HKN as their licensing agent.


2005: HKN, Canadian Health Libraries Association, and the Canadian Virtual Health Library

September 3, 2019

Throughout its entire 25 years in operation, HKN has advocated for provincial and national licensing initiatives. It engaged Lori van Rooijen from Larkspur Associates Inc. to investigate several initiatives, such as provincial licensing.

In May 2005, the HKN Partners meet with the Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness to discuss the need for health care practitioners to have seamless, cost-effective access to health information to enhance their decision-making. The HKN Partners garner support for a Canada Digital Health Library from the Presidents of all four of Alberta’s universities.

The Minister connects the HKN Partners to Canada Health Infoway (CHI) and gathers funding support for the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada (CHLA/ABSC) to complete an environmental scan and Feasibility Study and Readiness Assessment. This document leads to meetings with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the procurement of a grant for the Canadian Virtual Health Library/Bibliothèque virtuelle canadienne de la santé.


2004: Needs Assessment Report

August 19, 2019

In response to a number of requests to expand and review the services it offers, HKN engages Lori Van Rooijen of Larkspur Associates Inc. in 2003 to complete a provincial needs assessment. This comes ten years after HKN’s launch as a grant-funded project, and a year after it becomes a self-sustaining entity.

Invitations to participate are extended to health care influencers, practitioners, and policy makers, and to health information providers in Alberta. Sixty-six interviews are conducted along with seven focus groups; and, a literature search on research utilization in practice and evidence-based medicine is conducted.

In 2004, Van Rooijen completes the report and finds that providing researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and information specialists with access to authoritative, credible, and relevant health information could help attain superior health care. She also finds that having a single provider of licensed electronic information in the province, such as HKN, would help to maximize existing budgets and minimize the costs to the province.

“… there needs to be a provincial approach to providing access to relevant, credible health information. This applies to decision-support tools, knowledge transfer and to the provision of an information infrastructure.” (2004, p. 3)

The HKN Partners and Executive Committee use the report as a call to action to advocate for seamless and cost-effective access to health information for practitioners and researchers not only in Alberta, but across Canada as well.


2004: HKN Celebrates its 10th Year in Operation

August 8, 2019

In October 2004, HKN holds a one-day conference to celebrate its 10th year in operation. The conference brings together library stakeholders from all sectors to discuss the current and future context for health information. The keynote speaker is Dr. Sherrilynne Fuller, then Director of the Health Sciences Library at the University of Washington. Dr. Fuller completed a reverse site visit to examine the work of HKN. In her address, she provided a history of HKN. She also discussed directions for the future of health information. For instance, health care practitioners have different information needs than their patients. She also discussed how health care systems can integrate access to information into a patient’s health record and at point of care.


2003: Negotiations with SHIRP

July 22, 2019

In 2003, HKN welcomes the University of Saskatchewan as a subscriber, paving the way for the Saskatchewan Health Information Resources Program (SHIRP) to join in the following year. Through the SHIRP subscription, Saskatchewan is able to extend e-health resources to its Universities, technical school, health regions, and health care practitioners across the province. Librarians, Susan Powelson and Janet Bangma, are instrumental in bringing the SHIRP vision to fruition as they select HKN as its consortium.


2003: Exploring point-of-care tools

July 8, 2019

In 2003, HKN demonstrates Skolar MD at its Annual General Meeting in Calgary. This is HKN’s first look at an e-resource that is neither an e-journal or an e-book, but rather a “clinical information tool” that answers clinical questions at the point-of-care. Now ubiquitous, these resources have changed the delivery of health care at the bedside.


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