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National Medical Librarians Month — 2006

The Medical Library Association has declared October as National Medical Librarians Month. In honor of this event, the National Library of Medicine and your NN/LM Regional Network Office are celebrating the contributions of medical librarians in two ways — by providing a letter of recognition to hospital administrators and by promoting Network member outreach projects.

Letter of Recognition for Hospital Administrators

We have prepared a letter from the Regional Network Office to hospital administrators that reinforces the important work that hospital librarians do and the contributions you make to your institutions. If you have not already requested a letter, go to http://nnlm.gov/psr/services/nmlm_2006.html to see a copy of the letter of recognition and to submit your administrator information. We will accept requests until October 18, 2006. Over 40 letters have already been sent out.

Promoting Network Member Projects

The National Library of Medicine has highlighted several noteworthy projects undertaken by medical librarians and has provided links (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/lo/profiles06/psr.html) to each region’s projects. Projects from the Pacific Southwest Region are:

HELP: Health & Education Through the Library Access Program
Verde Valley Medical Center Library
Cottonwood, AZ
Project Director: Karen Fanning

The purpose of this project was to provide access to accurate and quality consumer health information to the residents of the Verde Valley and Yavapai County through the Internet. MEDLINE/PubMed, MedlinePlus, NIHSeniorHealth, ClinicalTrials.gov and Household Products Database were the primary databases used for accessing consumer health information. This project provided free accurate and quality consumer health information, including easy-to-read material, Spanish-language and other language materials, and interactive tutorials to the Verde Valley and communities located in Yavapai County, Arizona.

Health Matters! Consumer Health Literacy for Glendale Seniors
Glendale Public Library
Glendale, CA
Project Directors: Kathryn Sheppard, Jay Wollenhaupt

The Glendale Public Library serves a large senior population, including roughly 14,000 people in the 55-65 age group. This project involved training Glendale seniors to use computers, adaptive technology and the Internet to search, find, and evaluate health and medical information. A series of workshops and training sessions was held in three-week blocks, repeated each month from October 2005 through March 2006. The majority of sessions provided training directly to seniors, and the remaining sessions trained the librarians and reference staff in assisting patrons in the use of online consumer health and biomedical resources. Through this project, seniors in the community are better equipped to independently search and access online health related information, make better use of library services, print and electronic resources to meet personal goals, and make better decisions about their own health care.

Health Information Outreach Project: Creating Rural Networks in the Grossmont
Healthcare District
Herrick Community Health Care Library
La Mesa, CA
Project Director: Judy Kammerer

This project involved creating local networks involving the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) Library, local public libraries, and local public health nurses, in an area covering 18% of eastern San Diego County. The Herrick Library Director trained the librarians and nurses to provide reliable health information to individuals needing assistance, in particular senior citizens and disabled persons. Training sessions were conducted for seven rural branches of the San Diego County Library system.

Infopeople Consumer Health Training
Infopeople Project
Peninsula Library System
San Mateo, CA
Project Director: Holly Hinman

The Infopeople Project conducted seven classes in rural communities of California. The course content was derived from the public library workshops created by the NN/LM. A combined day-long class from the following two classes was developed:
“Prescription for Success: Consumer Health Information on the Internet” and
“From Snake Oil to Penicillin: Evaluating Consumer Health Information on the Internet.”
One of the classes was given at a tribal library. The workshops lasted for 6.5 hours, and Infopeople also produced an hour-long webcast of consumer health information for public library staff, available at: (http://www.infopeople.org/training/webcasts/webcast_data/147/index.html).

Kudos to everyone for a job well done!

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