Serving the Public
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We strive to improve the public's access to health information so they can make informed decisions about their health. Our programs focus on reaching minorities, senior citizens, and low income populations. To accomplish this, we provide outreach and training to staff at public libraries and other community-based organizations, Network members, healthcare providers, K-12 teachers and staff, college and adult school staff, and health advocacy groups.
- Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff 7 MB - a resource for librarians and library staff to build their competencies in providing excellent consumer health services to users.
- Consumer Health Information Specialization Program (MLA) - gain expertise in the area of consumer health information
- The Librarian's Role in the Provision of Consumer Health Information and Patient Education - Medical Library Association (MLA) policy statement
- Guidelines for Medical, Legal, and Business Responses - developed by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), American Library Association
- Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarianship - established by MLA
- Basic Medical Library Management - resources for the librarian new to providing health information services
- Consumer Health: An Online Manual - everything you need to know for developing and managing a consumer health library
- Health Information Literacy - resources from MLA
- How Do You Set Up and Run a Consumer Health Library? - from the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) of MLA
- Multilingual Health Information - an extensive list of multilingual health information resources
- Public Libraries and Community Partners: Working Together to Provide Health Information - a guide to encourage partnerships between public libraries, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and local community-based organizations
Our staff provides training in the effective use of Internet health information resources, highlighting National Library of Medicine (NLM) and National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) products and services. Our goal is to reach public librarians, health professionals, Network members, and other intermediaries who do not have access to such training so they can help their user populations to find and evaluate health information.
Please visit our Training page for more information on classes, training materials, and distance learning available from the NN/LM PSR and NLM.
Our staff provides presentations on consumer health topics to libraries and community-based organizations throughout the year. The materials in these presentations are available as a resource to anyone who would like to use them for consumer health programs.
Health e-Shows is a series of eight webcasts and webinars in collaboration with Infopeople. The sessions will be presented by Kelli Ham, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region, UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library.
- Session #1 - A Younger Generation of Older Adults: Health Information for Boomers (October 22, 2007)
- Session #2 - Communicating about Health: Empowering Patrons to Communicate with Their Health Care Providers (December 3, 2007)
- Session #3 - An In-depth Look at MedlinePlus (March 4, 2008)
- Session #4 - Beyond MedlinePlus: Resources That Answer Those Other Tough Health Reference Questions (May 14, 2008)
- Session #5 - I Don't Give Medical Advice; I Dispense Quality Health Information (June 19, 2008)
- Session #6 - Understanding Health Literacy: Why It Is So Important and What Librarians Can Do to Help (August 14, 2008)
- Session #7 - Health Information for Kids and Teens and Seniors, Oh My! (October 28, 2008)
- Session #8 - Finding Easy-to-Read and Multilingual Health Information for Your Patrons (December 1, 2008)
To access useful resources for self-instruction and for teaching others, select from the links below.
- MedlinePlus Basics 467 Kb - tri-fold brochure
- MedlinePlus Basics en Español 167 Kb - tri-fold brochure
- MedlinePlus FAQ - frequently asked questions about MedlinePlus
- MedlinePlus Fact Sheet
- PubMed Basics 149 Kb - tri-fold brochure to help you search
- PubMed Tutorial - shows you how to search PubMed for journal literature
- Tox Town - an interactive guide about toxic chemicals and environmental health risks you might encounter in everyday life, in everyday places
- ClinicalTrials.gov Fact Sheet
- ClinicalTrials.gov FAQ - frequently asked questions about ClinicalTrials.gov
Health-related programming is a great way to reach out to your community. Depending on your target audience, you might want to organize a health fair, hold classes to teach seniors to search for health information online, or invite health professionals to speak on relevant topics. In any case, funding can help make your ideas a reality. To learn more about funding opportunities, eligibility, and summaries of actual projects, please visit our Funding Opportunities page.