About the HSL

The mission of the Health Sciences Library is to be an indispensable partner in connecting people with knowledge and information to help make informed health care decisions, ensure quality health care, teach and learn effectively, and conduct vital research that contributes to the work of the university and our community.

Helping People Make Informed Decisions about Their Health Care

The library ensures that consumers and patients at UNC and across the state have ready access to quality health information and expertise. NC Health Info (nchealthinfo.org), the library’s consumer health website, provides vetted health information, mobile apps and tools, support group contacts, and patient-to-patient social media sites. These can be used by patients, their families, and their care givers to become more informed about their wellbeing and health care, to navigate the health care system, to find free and low cost options, and to manage their health care effectively. The North Carolina focus of NC Health Info makes this information highly relevant to the state’s citizens.

Ensure Quality Health Care

The Health Sciences Library (HSL) ensures that health care providers at UNC have quick access to health information services, resources, and expertise. Access to library licensed clinical reference resources are integrated through the hospital’s electronic health record. Clinical librarians are embedded in hospital departments where they provide help with case reviews and presentations, as well as proactively provide answers to clinical care questions. Librarians participate in teams developing or updating care guidelines, clinical pathways, and quality and safety processes, and collaborate with UNC Medical Center partners to select, organize, and improve patient access to educational materials and programs.

The library’s support for ensuring quality health care extends across the state to the affiliated clinical teaching sites and community hospitals through the NC Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program and the AHEC Digital Library.

Teaching and Learning

Our librarians play a vital role in helping our students develop critical thinking skills and training them to make good clinical decisions when they become practicing health care providers. We do this by teaching and sharing approaches to integrating and synthesizing evidence-based information skills for their specific discipline. Working alongside faculty, librarians design instruction within Health Affairs courses and provide self-paced learning modules to develop these skills. Our librarians consult with students individually and in groups to complete their class projects and papers.

Drawing on the extensive collections and resources of the University Libraries, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) students have access to the world’s most important biomedical information and discovery tools. Whether consulting with a faculty member designing a course, assignment, or meeting with students to help them understand concepts and master these skills, HSL librarians support continuous and transformative learning experiences by engaging in the educational continuum and bringing quality information sources to bear in that education.

Conducting Vital Research

The library provides active support throughout the research lifecycle, from identification of the problem or an idea through dissemination of results and analysis of the impact of research. The University Libraries have established Research Hubs in three campus libraries that offer Makerspaces, GIS technology, Systematic Review and impact measurement services and collaboration spaces for researchers and innovators to work together with needed information, tools, library expertise, and other collaborators. Important partnerships have been developed with the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP), The NC Translational and Clinical Sciences (TraCS) Institute, and the School of Medicine’s Center for Innovation. HSL librarians partner with researchers on systematic reviews, NIH open access and data management compliance, management and sharing of collections of citations and references, and creating new taxonomies for organizing research products.

Last modified: 06/01/22