Your Own Manuals
You are encouraged to print HEALTHINFOQUEST
pathfinders either to use as your own reference or to incorporate
into a workshop.
Warning: The dynamic nature
of the World Wide Web can result in unexpected changes to
any resource at any time. There is no guarantee that a path
that worked one time will work the next. However, the process
of finding information integral to HEALTHINFOQUEST
should still allow you to adapt to any
changes and find the information you are seeking.
Keep in mind that HEALTHINFOQUEST
is designed for information specialists and not for the lay
public. Pathfinders are not designed to be used at the point
of client contact.
Your Own Workshops
pathfinders evolved from workshops offered to help public
library staff become more comfortable handling health and
medical reference questions. Pathfinders demonstrate authoritative
and reliable Web sites where users can find answers to health
questions common in public libraries.
pathfinders are designed to stand alone. Nonetheless, consider
making them part of an interactive workshop which addresses
some of the other issues involved in providing health and
medical information to the lay public. The following workshop
design is based on those offered to public librarians by Maureen
Carleton, Project Director.
Each workshop is two hours long and is composed of two parts:
Question-driven conversation in which the participants discuss
their experiences with people who seek health information
from the public library, and the kinds of questions they ask.
During this hour, participants learn about the role of the
information provider and strategies for interacting with clients
more effectively. They learn:
Also take a look at HEALTHINFOQUEST
Reference Interview Resources.
- How to listen for clues in a client's story while negotiating
- How to set limits and establish boundaries.
- How to deal with a client's emotions and other psychosocial
aspects of health reference service.
Participants are introduced to HEALTHINFOQUEST
pathfinders to find answers to specific questions. They can
try to answer similar questions using the pathfinder as a
The best pathfinder to start with is Terminology.
Most health and medical reference questions logically begin
with finding the correct pronunciations and definitions of
terms. This helps put both the information provider and the
client at ease in a situation where clear communication is
imperative. Other pathfinders may be used in any order for
independent learning or review.