Program Session

5 - What Roles Do Chinese Health Sciences Libraries Play in Their Nation's Cigarette Smoking Public Health Crisis?

Monday, May 29
11:35 AM - 11:50 AM
Room: 608

Objectives: Cigarette smoking remains a major cause of death in China. Second-hand smoke in China is a public health problem. A 2011 Chinese study estimated 16.5% of all deaths in men and 1.7% in women were smoking-related. Are health sciences libraries in China currently providing awareness, advocacy, or research support for the societal benefits of reducing dependence on tobacco products?

Methods: An institutional review board reviewed the proposal for protection of human research subjects. Library contacts for Chinese schools of medicine, public health, and pharmacy were identified, using the World Directory of Medical Education to identify Chinese schools. Authors used social networks and institutional websites to obtain the names and email addresses of participants. Individual names or identities would not be reported. A bilingual Chinese-English Qualtrics® online survey was constructed and distributed to Chinese health sciences libraries to obtain respondents’ demographic detail, anonymous personal information, and answers to questions about library resources and services that constitute academic awareness, advocacy, curriculum, or research support about tobacco and smoking and the consequences of long-term smoking and tobacco use. Respondents were offered the opportunity to submit their contact information to receive copies of completed research.

Results: Survey responses were received from librarians at medical centers and schools in Beijing, Shanghai, and 13 additional provinces.  43% of reporting librarians work on a smoke-free campus. 100% of all reporting libraries work in smoke-free libraries, though 6% of the reporting libraries offer a smoking room for staff.  All reporting libraries contain printed material on the dangers of smoking; 17% report a significant amount. Student requests for materials or acquisition recommendations are infrequent, and responses ranged from occasionally to never. More than 60% of the librarians report medical residents occasionally ask for tobacco-related literature. Nearly 60% of librarians reported faculty occasionally ask for material about the consequences of smoking. More than 60% of instructors were reported to occasionally ask for database searches about cigarettes or tobacco.  Only 33% of librarians reported creating a collection guide about smoking. 15% of reporting libraries hosted a traveling exhibit on the consequences of smoking.

Conclusion: Some Chinese health sciences libraries are providing public health information and collaborating with faculty and students to support the reduction of smoking and tobacco use. Anecdotal statements collected from survey participants confirms their awareness of the positive roles librarians play in their country's smoking crisis.

Keywords: China, Public Health, Cigarettes, Smoking, Health, Sciences Libraries, Outreach, Advocacy

Program Session

Charles J. Greenberg

University Library Director
Wenzhou-Kean University
Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China (People's Republic)

Charles J Greenberg MLS MEd AHIP is the Founding Library Director for the Wenzhou-Kean University Library, situated in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China. Prior to his appointment Charles held a variety of positions for the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library of Yale University (1998-2013) and the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Center at columbia University (1989-1998). Charles has been a member of the Medical Library Association for more the 24 years and has chaired both the Educational Media & Technologies(1994-1995) and Public Services (2003-2004) sections of MLA. He also served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the International Cooperation Secton(2011-2013). He is a 2003-2004 AAHSL Leadership Fellow and founded the open access journal Biomedical Digital Libraries(2004-2007). Charles is also a board member of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD). Since 2007, Charles has taught medical librarianship for San Jose State University's iSchool, and he created a consumer health information course that made its debut in 2015. During his current appointment in China, Charles has conducted a series of 12 lectures with video presentions at the Wenzhou City Public Library on the history of American jazz music, in English, to an enthusiastic local audience.


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Lin Wu

Instructional Associate Professor / Pharmacy and South Texas HSC Campus Librarian
Medical Sciences Library
Kingsville, Texas

Lin Wu is Pharmacy and South Texas Health Science Center Campus Librarian at Texas A&M University's Medical Sciences Library. She is fully integrated into the College of Pharmacy to support the learning, teaching, and research needs of the college. Her research interests are embedded librarianship, information literacy, health literacy, evidence-based nursing practice, medical informatics, and library instruction.


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Send Email for Xuyu Zhou

Bodong Chen

Student assistant
Wenzhou- Kean University
Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China (People's Republic)

Bodong Chen is a student assistant in Wenzhou-Kean University, China and facilitated in the process of the research project sponsored by Charles Greenberg, university library director, and Lin Wu, associate professor in Texas A&M University.


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Yutong Feng

Wenzhou Kean University
Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China (People's Republic)


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5 - What Roles Do Chinese Health Sciences Libraries Play in Their Nation's Cigarette Smoking Public Health Crisis?

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