The Virtual Health Library (VHL) was launched in March 1998, with the Declaration of San José Towards the Virtual Health Library, approved during the 4th Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information (CRICS4).
In this Declaration the country representatives recognize that the access to information constitutes one of the central elements to reach equity in health adapting them to the reality of the region.
Based on these premises, they made the commitment to cooperatively built the Virtual Health Library, in order to strengthen capabilities and infrastructures and to facilitate the broad access to the information for the permanent improvement of the health and for sustainable human development of the region.
According to the VHL’s model, the network of information producers, intermediaries and users progressively moves towards the operation of products and services in a shared space in the Internet. In this shared space, the VHL progressively forms dynamic networks of information flows and sources, created and operated in a cooperative and decentralized manner with explicit quality control.
The VHL is, therefore, a public space of interaction between producers, intermediaries and users, thus contributing for the publication, record, organization, indexation, preservation, quality control, and integrity as well as for visibility, access and use of the information generated by national research, teaching and health care systems.