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Health Resources for Public Libraries

For questions, please contact 

Bobbi Newman
Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist

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What is CHIS?

CHIS is an acronym for Consumer Health Information Specialization, a program provided by the Medical Library Association (MLA).

Why Get a CHIS?

Librarians know the life-saving and life-enhancing value of accurate evidence-based health information. By earning CHIS, you acquire skills and knowledge needed to become a confident, expert provider of health information to your community. Your CHIS shows employers, colleagues, and the public you serve that you are committed to offering quality consumer health information services and to staying current with developments in consumer health information resources, technologies, and services.

How to Earn CHIS

Level 1

In order to earn CHIS you will need to complete 12 CE hours worth of courses and webinars and those 12 CE must cover core competencies 1-5

  • Know the Community
  • Know the Health Consumer
  • Knowledge of Subject Matter and Existing Resources
  • Health Information Evaluation
  • Communication and Instruction

There are 2 easy ways ensure you take all 5 competencies to to earn CHIS 

  1. Take Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness for Your Community. This course covers all 8 CHIS competencies and provides all 12 CE hours needed for CHIS. At this time it is restricted to public library staff. 
  2. Take Beyond an Apple a Day: Providing Consumer Health Information at Your Library This course covers all 5 competencies required for CHIS level 1 and can provide up to 4 CE hours. You can then take any additional CHIS approved courses on the topics of your choosing to earn your required 12CE hours 

You can also take any combination of courses that cover the 5 competencies and use this tracking grid. All NNLM classes are offered at no cost. 

Level 2

To earn level 2 CHIS you need 12 CE hours worth of courses and webinars and those 12 CE must cover core competencies 6-8.

  • Literacy and Health Literacy
  • Technology and Health
  • Ethical and Legal Issues

You can see a grid of classes and their competencies on the MLA website


The CHIS application fee $75 and the specialization is valid for 3 years, at which point it must be renewed. NNLM sponsors the application fee for level 1 or level 2, including renewals. Once you've completed the necessary course work fill out this form.

Read more about CHIS on the MLA website.