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Especially for Public Libraries

Seeking information about the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Our Pacific Northwest Region (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) ACA website contains both national and state-specific resources you can use!

Public libraries are encouraged to start at MedlinePlus.gov, the National Library of Medicine's consumer health portal site, when investigating health information topics.

Training Opportunities and Materials

NN/LM PNR staff gladly offer training sessions for public libraries interested in National Library of Medicine resources and other health information topics. Our goal is to equip public libraries with increased confidence and skill in providing health information. One good starting place is the Consumer Health Manual developed by staff throughout the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

For more in-depth training, there are several free courses available. All of the courses listed below have been certified for the Medical Library Association's Consumer Health Information Specialization Program. We also encourage you to use these training materials to educate your library's staff and patrons.

Consumer Health Classes for Public Libraries:

* Prescription for Success: Consumer Health on the Web. This hands-on introduction to consumer health information covers the information-seeking behaviors of consumers, the basics of MedlinePlus.gov, DIRLINE, ClinicalTrials.gov and other reliable web pages.
http://nnlm.gov/training/consumer/prescription/

* From Snake Oil to Penicillin: Evaluating Consumer Health Information on the Internet.This hands-on course describes why it is important to evaluate websites. Participants will be given criteria for how to evaluate health information on the Internet.
http://nnlm.gov/training/consumer/snakeoil/

* Looking in All the Wrong Places: PubMed for Public Librarians. This 3-hour hands-on class covers basic and field searching, journal browser, single citation matcher, clipboard, history, and other features.
http://nnlm.gov/training/consumer/pubmed/

* Beyond an Apple A Day: Providing Consumer Health Information in the Public Library. This hands-on class covers the information seeking behaviors of consumers. It will also address the recommended core reference collection, as well as databases and newsletters/ periodicals. It will cover the reference interview, disclaimers, and privacy as well as networking with medical librarians.
http://nnlm.gov/training/consumer/apple/

For other training opportunities and materials, please visit the NN/LM PNR's training page.

Network Membership

Public libraries are welcome to join the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. There is no cost to join and membership entitles you to a variety of benefits:

* Access to health information experts. To find other network members near you, search our member directory. You can also call the NN/LM PNR to be referred to a medical Librarian. Call us toll-free at 1-800-338-7657.

* Eligibility for funding opportunities for health information outreach projects and activities. NN/LM PNR staff can assist with proposal development and refer you to others who have successfully received funding in the past.

* Use of promotional materials for National Library of Medicine resources you can use for outreach projects, at health fairs or health-related displays in your library.

Collaborations and Partnerships

NN/LM has created a web-based resource to assist you with creating partnerships and to prepare for providing health information outreach in your community. "Public Libraries and Community Partners: Working Together to Provide Health Information" includes six guides for developing a community-based health information program with emphasis on evaluation of outreach projects.