NNLM Reading Club: Digital Health Literacy
Share Digital Health Literacy
Libraries can play a crucial role in helping their patrons access quality online health information by:
- Providing access to computers and high-speed internet
- Helping users develop the digital literacy skills needed to use the computer (e.g., how to use a mouse)
- Helping users develop the necessary skills to evaluate online health information resources
Download, print, and share facts.
- The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) Health Literacy Online is a research-based guide for simplifying the User Experience when it comes to creating intuitive health websites.
- The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a best-practice website, usability.gov, to learn how to create a user-centered product.
Technology Is Changing Medicine.... and Library Service
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced libraries temporarily to close, the virus also created an opportunity for libraries to demonstrate their increasingly important role as partners for healthy communities.
From accessing your personal Electronic Health Record (EHR) to using TeleHealth for a routine medical visit, digital health literacy is increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. Visit NNLM All of Us Digital Health Literacy and NNLM All of Us Learn Internet Skills to discover resources, including digital health literacy training curricula and courses, to help individuals in your community become more skilled and knowledgeable technology users.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that more than 21 million Americans lack broadband access, and Pew Research reports that 77 percent of Americans without Internet access depend on libraries. So it was fortunate that when libraries closed due to the pandemic, they did not stop providing this essential service. Libraries extended remote access coverage outside the building. While sitting in a parked vehicle or on a park bench, communities continued to access free WiFi to complete homework or upload job applications.
If you thought libraries only loaned books and DVDs, think again. Library of Things often includes health technology such as Fitbits. Learn how libraries are incorporating wearable devices into their health outreach programs: Summit Fitbit Cohorts, Capital Area District Libraries, and Huron Public Library.
CreativeMaker Spaces in public libraries were enlisted for the emergency manufacture of face shields that were in short supply during the COVID-19 outbreak. Using 3D to Make PPE: Library resources help create much-needed face shields by Cass Balzer. American Libraries. April 3, 2020. The Columbia University Libraries even created an online resource, Guide and Design for Rapidly Produced Face Shields.