The Elsevier Foundation Innovative Libraries

Mar 23, 2011 1:12 PM ET

At Makerere University in Uganda, finding ways to share knowledge and information throughout a country with limited internet access is nothing less than an institutional priority. Maria Musoke, the University Librarian at Makerere and Sir Albert Cook Medical Library, Uganda's major Health Sciences library, travels regularly with a team of doctors, nurses and midwives to train rural health workers, inform community members, and influence health outcomes. Working through a three year, $100,000 Elsevier Foundation grant, Maria has also taken on an existing triennial medical digest, expanding it to solve community based health problems while librarians develop or repackage the necessary information to support the field visits. The digest features information culled specifically to address major health concerns, such as malaria and other common causes of illnesses in the areas served.

"If the information is new and has been repackaged, the patients benefit because they get current treatment, and if it's current treatment it means better results," says Dr. Kijjambu Amos, Mpigi Health Centre. In many cases, access to the Internet is a problem so repackaging includes expanded issues of the triannual medical digest produced by Makerere University's Sir Albert Cook Medical Library.   Maria Musoke notes: "Our project combines information services with field activity, offering a clear model of how librarians in developing countries can reach out to rural health workers with great impact on health outcomes. One of our goals is also to show how global knowledge can be repackaged to suit local conditions and meet the information needs of Ugandan health workers. And I think we're making some progress."   About Elsevier 
Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet ( and Cell (, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier’s online solutions include SciVerse ScienceDirect (, SciVerse Scopus (, Reaxys (, MD Consult ( and Nursing Consult (, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite ( and MEDai’s Pinpoint Review (, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively. 

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier ( employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC (, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).