9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

P16 - Public Health: policies and guidelines for the composition and maintenance of collections in Brazilian libraries

The new scenario imposes to libraries, with great emphasis to specialized ones, a new challenge on storage, processing and use of information, demanding innovation and renovation of ancient concepts in Biblioteconomy practices. These changes cause great impact on development and compilation of collections, with a change on focus from the property of collections to the focus on access. Thus, documents in several supports may pass a severe selection criterion in order to guarantee a vacancy in the collection.
Currently, what is expected from a specialized Library is a specific and high quality collection that assists user’s demand in their different necessities in information and access. Therefore, there is a need to know the existing sources and user community profile.
According to the new concept of Health elaborated during the VIII National Health Conference, “health is the resulting conditions of nutrition, housing, education, income, environment, labor, transport, job, leisure, freedom, a ccess and ownership of land and access to health service system.” The mission of specialized libraries must focus on the compilation of a collection that contemplates this new concept.
Towards such direction, the aim is to make available and guarantee exhaustive access to information on public health through Public Libraries and information units. The Ministry of Health Library offers remote access to a chain of information through the adoption of a high-tech model operated by the Virtual Health Library that holds a local collection in several supports. Aiming at enhancing, the services management works on the premises of a policy to develop collections. The outcome of such is to preserve and make available all the techno-scientific productions of the Single Health System (SUS), throughout the three spheres of the Government, which main goal is to bring wide access to health, a right of each citizen and a duty of the State.  
The objectives of the Policy for Development of Collections at Li braries, at a Federal level (SUS duty), are focused on the following pillars: support to priority programs on public health, maintenance and availability of techno-scientific productions of the Ministry of Health through maintenance of “Technical Memory” (Memória Técnica) collection; maintenance of thematic related to public health; implementation and updates on the basic nucleus of national and foreign publications as well as documents published by well-known national and international institutions/organizations, such as OPAS, WHO, UNESCO, UNICEF among other, and  several kinds of documents available in different supports and accesses.
The document of the Policy for Development of Collections is considered a vital instrument for collection update and optimization of resources usage. The Ministry of Health Library, besides acquiring, processing, preserving and making available a collection is also necessary to guarantee the access to information on public health for the complete exercise of citiz enship.