May 19, 2022

CBC: “Health Canada Library Changes Leave Scientists Scrambling”

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

Health Canada scientists are so concerned about losing access to their research library that they’re finding work-arounds, with one squirrelling away journals and books in his basement for colleagues to consult, says a report obtained by CBC News.

The draft report from a consultant hired by the department warned it not to close its library, but the report was rejected as flawed and the advice went unheeded.


The report noted the workarounds scientists used to overcome their access problems.

[Dr. Rudi] Mueller [retired Health Canada pathologist] used his contacts in industry for scientific literature. He also went to university libraries where he had a faculty connection. .


One of the problems Mueller couldn’t work around was the disappearance of librarians who could help him in his search for scientific literature. The report said the number of in-house librarians went from 40 in 2007 to just six in April 2013.

“The librarian would sit down with me and specifically design the searches for what I needed,” said Mueller.

“A librarian is far better at doing a literature search than I am,” added Mueller. “It’s their profession.”

Read the Complete CBC Report
Includes comments from Health Canada.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.