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Getting Started with Information Outreach in Your Community


This interactive class will provide a background in cultural competence and outreach skills as librarians make outreach efforts to underserved and minority populations in their community. The goal of this course is to offer concrete ideas to enable librarians to initiate outreach programs with minority communities. Topics to be covered include locating community demographics, the importance of developing relationships, the basics of building and developing community-based partnerships, recognition and acceptance of cultural differences, and the importance of cultural competency. Some basic concepts of program planning and evaluation within a culturally diverse environment will be covered. Participants will engage in group discussions to explore models for developing their own programs.


Participants will be able to...

  • Define cultural competence.
  • Apply principles of cultural competence in outreach programs.
  • Examine ways to learn about local communities.
  • Learn about strategic collaboration.
  • Outline the steps in developing an outreach plan.

Course Materials

Continuing Education

  • This course has been approved for 4 hours of Medical Library Association Continuing Education Units.


Greater Midwest Region

Jacqueline Leskovec, Outreach, Planning and Evaluation Coordinator, , ,

Midcontinental Region

Dana Abbey, Health Information Literacy Coordinator/Colorado, Health Information Literacy Coordinator/Colorado,

New England Region

Michelle Eberle, Consumer Health Information Coordinator,

South Central Region

Marcus Spann, Community Health Coordinator, , ,

Update Author

Cheryl Rowan, Trainer / Curriculum and Content Specialist, National Library of Medicine Training Center

Original Author

Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, former Community Outreach Liaison for the NN/LM MidContinental Region.

Gale Dutcher, former Head of the Office of Outreach and Special Populations, Specialized Information Services at the National Library of Medicine