Digital Health Literacy
In a time where we rely so heavily on digital connectivity, how can we ensure that library communities have the support they need to stay connected?
NNLM and All of Us are partnering with the Public Library Association (PLA) and Wisconsin Health Literacy to reach people on the other side of the digital divide by helping them gain the digital literacy skills needed to access and evaluate health information online and to participate in the All of Us Research Program (All of Us).
We’re calling on you to partner with us to offer virtual digital health literacy training and citizen science programming to your community and we'll help you promote it to All of Us program participants. Citizen science programming will allow community members to practice using digital skills learned while contributing meaningful data to collaborative and open source research.
If you are offering a virtual training session or program that you would like to promote to All of Us program participants in your community let us know by filling out the following form.
Digital Health Literacy Curriculum
Are you interested in offering digital literacy training to support the health information needs of your community? NNLM has partnered with Wisconsin Health Literacy to create free, downloadable digital health literacy curriculum including a slide deck, accompanying script, and handouts for you to use! Materials can be used for both virtual and in-person training.
Health Online: Finding Information You Can Trust Curriculum Material
- Program Script: Instructors guide to facilitate training
- Handout 1: Contents include website checklist, list of websites to visit for health information and what using online resources for your health allows you to do
- Handout 2: Contents include searching for health information, reading a webpage, looking for credibility, other online resources
- Handout 3: Contents include additional resources that aided in the creation of the curriculum
Learn how to use the digital literacy curriculum by watching The Importance of Digital Literacy and its Impact on Understanding Health Information.
Learn Internet Skills Online: Free Online Learning Modules
All of Us wants its participants to participate as partners in the program. Learning online skills will help to keep program participants informed and up-to-date on All of Us activities and events. To help address the digital divide, All of Us has partnered with NNLM to create a series of free, online learning modules on select digital health literacy topics:
- Get a Free Email Address (English | Español)
- All of Us Keeps Your Information Safe (English | Espanol)
- Avoid Scams and Phishing (English | Espanol)
- Create a Strong & Easy-to-Remember Password (English | Espanol)
- Find Reliable Health Information Online: Website Detective (English | Espanol)
- Use MedlinePlus to Find Reliable Health Information (English | Espanol)
You can access and promote these free online learning modules at the All of Us Training & Education Center.
Why is Digital Literacy So Important to Health?
The World Health Organization defines digital health literacy as the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem.
The Pew Research Center reported that 35% of U.S. adults have gone online to figure out a medical condition and that the internet is a de facto second opinion – and even first opinion – for many people. The World Health Organization also reports that 575 million results are returned by Google when searching for “cancer” and 250 million when searching for “diabetes.” That is an overwhelming amount of information!
Libraries can play a crucial role i n helping their patrons access quality 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
Free Digital Health Literacy Posters
Digital Health Literacy Resources for Libraries
- Access online digital literacy skills at digitallearn.org
- See how Wisconsin Health Literacy is supporting digital health literacy in their state at wisconsinliteracy.org/healthliteracy
- Learn more about digital inclusion from WebJunction
- The National Digital Inclusion Alliance provides resources on access to technology at digitalinclusion.org
- LibrariesTransform offers free toolkits on digital literacy and health literacy at ilovelibraries.org/librariestransform
- MedlinePlus offers guides to health web surfing and evaluating health information
- Check out the tutorials and resources from digitallearn.gov
- The Public Library Association offers resources on digital literacy and tools for healthy communities
Are you interested in offering citizen science programming in your library but don't know what to do? Download and use our free citizen science guides for libraries and community partners and access our Introduction to Citizen Science online course today!
Citizen Science Resources for Librarians
- Download our free citizen science guides for libraries and community partners at scistarter.org/nlm (External link)
- Learn more about citizen science by taking our online Introduction to Citizen Science Online Course (external link)
- See what NNLM is doing with citizen science and crowdsourcing at NNLM Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing
Funding for the Digital Health Literacy campaign has been provided by the All of Us Research Project.