Award Report – Promoting Consumer Health Information Resources in Public Libraries
Reference librarians in public libraries are passionate about seeking the answers to questions for their patrons. When searching for consumer health information they are faced with a wealth of information on just about any health topic you can think of. So, what is the problem – searching through this information to find the best quality information in an appropriate format and level to meet the needs of the patron walking through the door is both critical and often daunting.
Portals to high quality information make the job easier. Using tools like Medlineplus and healthfinder.gov provide a guiding light for library staff to direct patrons to worthwhile and appropriate consumer health information.
As a librarian, I have over the years promoted these resources to public libraries through various projects including tabling at health fairs, presenting talks at conferences, and this year presenting a poster session at the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference through a Micro-Award from the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
Each experience brings a new opportunity to enlighten folks about resources they may not have used before, provides them with fresh ideas to try in their library to promote consumer health resources, and provides a learning opportunity for me (there are many library’s out there implementing innovative ideas to promote and educate the public in finding consumer health information).
The environment is different today than it was more than seven years ago when I started promoting consumer health information to public libraries. Library staff are more familiar and comfortable with the resources available to them – now we need to put all of our effort behind marketing and promoting these resources to the public. We know the public is looking for this type of information. We need to let them know that we can help them find it!
Susan Jeffery, Albright Memorial Library, at the 2007 PaLa Annual Conference (Pennsylvania Library Association) State College, PA October 14-17, 2007
Susan Jeffery- Albright Memorial Library (Scranton Public Library)- Scranton, PA.