A partnership between academic and public librarians: “What the Health” workshop series

Jessica A. Koos, Jamie Saragossi, Gregg A. Stevens, Salvatore Filosa

Abstract


Background: Public librarians are in a unique position to assist the general public with health information inquiries. However, public librarians might not have the training, detailed knowledge, and confidence to provide high-quality health information.

Case Presentation: The authors created and delivered three workshops to public librarians in Suffolk County, New York, highlighting several National Library of Medicine resources. Each workshop focused on a different topic: general consumer health resources, genetics health resources, and environmental/toxicology resources. At the end of each workshop, participants were asked to complete the Training Session Evaluation form provided by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM). All participants reported that they learned a new skill or about a new tool, that their ability to locate online health information improved, and that they planned to use the knowledge they gained in the future. Online tutorials covering the major resources from each workshop were created and made accessible to the public on several organizations’ websites. Virtual reference services were initiated for public librarians who need further assistance with these resources and will continue to be provided on an ongoing basis. Financial support for the equipment and software utilized in each of these tasks was provided by NNLM.

Conclusions: Based on attendance and participant feedback, this model of health information outreach appears to have been successful in furthering the educational needs of public librarians and may be useful to others in creating a similar program in their communities.

Keywords


Consumer Health; Public Librarians; Health Sciences Librarians

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. National action plan to improve health literacy [Internet]. Washington, DC: The Department; 2010 [cited 23 Jul 2018]. .

Yi YJ. Consumer health information behavior in public libraries: a qualitative study. Libr Q. 2015 Jan 1;85(1):45–63.

Luo L, Park VT. Preparing public librarians for consumer health information service: a nationwide study. Libr Inf Sci Res. 2013 Oct;35(4):310–7.

Smith CA, Hundal S, Keselman A. Knowledge gaps among public librarians seeking vaccination information: a qualitative study. J Consum Health Internet. 2014 Jan;18(1):44–66.

Clifton S, Jo P, Longo JM, Malone T. Cultivating a community of practice: the evolution of a health information specialists program for public librarians. J Med Libr Assoc. 2017 Jul;105(3):254–61. DOI: http://dx.doi.org.proxy.library.stonybrook.edu/10.5195/jmla.2017.83.

Engeszer RJ, Olmstadt W, Daley J, Norfolk M, Krekeler K, Rogers M, Colditz G, Anwuri VV, Morris S, Voorhees M, McDonald B, Bernstein J, Schoening P, Williams L. Evolution of an academic-public library partnership. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Jan;104(1):62–6. DOI: http://dx.doi.org.proxy.library.stonybrook.edu/10.3163/1536-5050.104.1.010.

Wessel CB, Wozar JA, Epstein BA. The role of the academic medical center library in training public librarians. J Med Libr Assoc. 2003 Jul;91(3):352–60.

Bellone S, Tomarken JL. Suffolk County community health assessment 2014–2017 [Internet]. Great River, NY: Suffolk County Department of Health Services [cited 23 Jul 2018]. .

US Census Bureau. QuickFacts: Suffolk County, New York [Internet]. The Bureau [cited 27 Sep 2018]. .

National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region. Health information awareness award [Internet]. The Network [cited 23 Jul 2018]. .

Winslow O. Census: Nassau and Suffolk both home to a diversity of languages: the percentage of residents who speak a language other than English at home exceeded the national rate in both Long Island counties, although the trend is more pronounced in Nassau, the census found. Newsday, combined editions [Internet]. 7 Dec 2017 [cited 26 Jul 2018]. .

Medical Library Association. Symposium: health information for public librarians [Internet]. The Association; 2018 [cited 23 Jul 2018]. .




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.564

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2019 Jessica A. Koos, Jamie Saragossi, Gregg A. Stevens, Salvatore Filosa

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.