Award report- HILNNEP CE Double Header
Members of HILNNEP (Health Information Library Network of Northeastern Pennsylvania) have been struggling to develop innovative ways to offer health information to the local general public, as well as to their own constituencies, with little or no money or staffing. Currently there are three hospitals that offer consumer health information, but only one has staff dedicated to that purpose. The HILNNEP group thought that Web 2.0 technologies might provide some avenues for all members to work together in a joint project to develop a web presence to benefit the local communities. Some members had taken the MLA Web 2.0 courses, but the majority had not. The group decided to sponsor a CE course that would acquaint everyone with the tools that might be needed in accomplishing the joint project.
HILNNEP received a MAR NN/LM Small Project Grant to help defray some of the costs of a CE Double Header event. Instructors for “eXtreme Searching: Getting the Most from PubMed and Google” were Karen Heskett and Arpita Bose. Gregg Headrick taught “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Unwrapping New Technology Trends.” There were sixteen attendees, including ten from HILNNEP, one from Central Pennsylvania Health Sciences Library Association, and five from local college libraries.
It was determined in advance that the success of the activity would be measured by whether or not individual HILNNEP members actually used any of the new technologies to offer services to their own Library users, and if HILNNEP members eventually developed a plan to offer health information to the general public and to specific targeted populations using Web 2.0 tools.
At the June 18 HILNNEP meeting, members were polled to determine whether or not any of the tools had been put into practice. A surprising number of tools had been utilized by the majority of attendees either within the library, in the performance of other organizational responsibilities, or for extracurricular activities. Among the tools employed were blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Meebo, Library Thing, Tiny URL, and Google Alert. One member of HILNNEP has become an instructor to others in her organization on the use of Google Docs.
During the meeting, HILNNEP members held a planning session to outline the beginnings of a consortium website for the local population. One member volunteered to research the prevalent DRGs in the community to give a focus to the project. The group was excited about the possibilities of using Google Sites to create the website. The Go Local model will be investigated and the group will be searching for local health agency websites, free clinics, clinical trials, and health issues and opportunities with a focus on prevention for the local Northeastern Pennsylvania population. The Hispanic population has grown tremendously in NEPA and information for this sector of the population will be added after the project is operational