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Health Libraries Group Core Collections detail
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Health Libraries Group Core Collections detail

During 2009, HLG re-established its involvement and leadership of the Core Collections in partnership with Tomlinsons. The Core Collections publication, first published 17 years ago, had become a useful acquisition guide for health libraries. The compilation of the collections had however become a very time consuming process, and some of the collections had not been updated for many years.

The HLG committee set up a new working group to examine new methods for revising the collections. The Medical and Nursing collections had previously been developed separately, but a generic methodology and scope have now been developed and agreed to ensure consistency across the collections. One of the aims was also to ensure that a wider group was consulted in their compilation and that the final product was available electronically as well as in print. The group therefore investigated a range of Web 2.0 technologies and concluded that Library Thing was the most suitable tool for this purpose. An initial pilot was conducted with the Mental Health Core Collection which had not been updated since its first edition in 1999, and which HLG had not previously been involved in. The data from the last collection was loaded onto Library Thing, and a consultation process took place over several months. The group were able to establish that Library Thing provided a good platform for wider user engagement, and facilitated discussion between contributors about the relevance of individual texts. There were a total of 26 contributors from across the UK, comprising librarians from a range of sectors, in addition to mental health professionals and lecturers. The collection has now been published in print by Tomlinsons and disseminated to all mental health libraries. Following the successful pilot, the new methodology was rolled out for the remainder of the collections.

Medical Core Collection

Project lead: Margaret Scarce, HLG Core Collections Lead 

The Medical Core Collection is under review and will be updated in time for the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 2019.  The 6th edition was published in May 2011. Print copies are available from Tomlinsons ( or you can view it online at

Further information about the revised edition and the contributors is available on the attached document.

If you have any further feedback on the titles in this collection, please email so that they can be considered for the next edition.

Mental Health Core Collection

The 3rd edition of the Core Collection of Mental Health Books was published in July 2014.   This title has been fully updated thanks to the contributions of health librarians and clinicians working in this field, has been edited by the Psychiatric Libraries Co-operative Scheme committee and endorsed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Copies of the book are available from the publisher, Tomlinsons Book Service, free of charge to health libraries.

If you would like a copy to be sent to you, please e-mail Tomlinsons Book Service (

The collection can also be viewed online via Library Thing (  

Nursing Core Collection - New Edition

Project Lead: Margaret Scarce:

The 5th edition was published in September 2016. Print copies are available from Tomlinsons ( or may be viewed on the Tomlinsons website.

Core Collection of Dental Books

HLG is pleased to announce that the first edition of the Core Collection of Dental Books is now available. 

This new title, edited by Roger Farbey, Head of Library & Knowledge Services at the British Dental Association, is a welcome addition to the Core Collections series.

The print version has been published by Tomlinsons; members of the Dental Librarians group should have received a copy, but any other libraries who would like a copy should contact Margaret Scarce, HLG Core Collections Lead (

The collection, which has been produced using the Library Thing is also available online

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