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Public Health Information Outreach at MCW Libraries

By Emily Schearer
Outreach Librarian
Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries

The Medical College of Wisconsin Libraries recently wrapped up its Health-E Public project with the Citizens and Organizations Active in Disaster and Medical Reserve Corps of Southeastern Wisconsin. The project was funded by a Public Health award from the NN/LM Greater Midwest Region.

The award allowed us to provide hands-on workshops and both formal and informal presentations for audiences working and volunteering in public health related fields. In addition to providing training on the use of PubMed, MedlinePlus, Toxnet and other resources, we were also able to advertise the availability of LoansomeDoc services to a number of people that had limited or no access to full-text articles.

Throughout the project, we found that many people who wished to attend workshops or presentations were often called out of the office for last-minute flu vaccine clinics or other duties in the community. For this reason, it became necessary to provide a great deal of information via email and electronic formats. Overall, the project allowed us to connect and solidify relationships with community organizations that we had little contact wither previously. We gained a better understanding of the information needs of public health professionals and volunteers, and are better equipped to serve them as they continue their work in Milwaukee and surrounding counties.

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