Health Resources for Public Libraries
We offer free training sessions for public libraries interested in National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources and other health information topics. Our goal is to equip public libraries with increased confidence and skill in providing health information. You can see a complete schedule of upcoming training opportunities on our training calendar. If there a course or a topic you are interested in that is not scheduled, please feel free to send me an email.
Below is a sample of the courses that qualify for the Medical Library Association's Consumer Health Information Specialization Program (CHIS). We also encourage you to use these training materials to educate your library's staff and patrons.
- Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community This course is designed to provide public library staff with the foundation (or a refresher) of health and wellness reference, programming, and outreach for their communities.
- Beyond an Apple a Day: Providing Consumer Health Information at Your Library This hands-on class will cover the health information seeking behavior of consumers and the role of the librarian in the provision of health information for the public.
- Caring for the Mind: Providing Mental Health Information at Your Library Responding to questions involving topics on mental health is challenging even for the most experienced librarian. Participants will learn how to effectively provide mental health information at their libraries and about the best electronic resources to consult as well as ways to improve their print collections. Best approaches for handling interactions with emotional patrons will also be discussed.
- Combating Information Fatigue: Health Information Resources for Veterans This course will cover resources for finding information on general health conditions, mental health resources including those for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), family issues, substance abuse, amputations, support groups and more. Additionally, this class will prepare participants to find and assess other veterans’ health resources.
- Food for Thought: Exploring Nutrition Information Resources This class is designed to assist librarians, public health workers, health professionals, and the general public in locating authoritative information on nutrition and topics relating to nutrition. Background information on the importance of nutrition information to other health-related topics will be included, and resources for locating nutrition-related statistics and evidence-based practice will also be identified.
- From A(norexia) to Z(its): Providing Health Information to Teens This class will present an overview of health information needs of teenagers and their information seeking behaviors, review communication skills needed during reference interviews with teenagers, and explore credible health information resources that are designed for teens.
- From Beyond Our Borders: Providing Multilingual and Multicultural Health Information This class is designed to assist librarians and others who work with diverse populations in locating health information. The resources presented are selected for their emphasis on providing culturally relevant information in the preferred language of the population. Background information on refugees and immigrants in the U.S. and their unique health issues will be presented.
- Health Issues in the Headlines: Learning to Read Between the Lines Dark chocolate, red wine, and stem cells - what do these have in common? All have been reported in the news as having health benefits. Often the first place your patrons will hear about health issues is in the media. Participants will learn about how health is reported in the news as well as how to evaluate the accuracy and validity of science and health stories. The impact of celebrity illness will also be discussed. By the end of this course, participants will be better equipped to help their patrons look more critically at health issues that are being reported in the news media. Actual news articles and research reports will be included for critique.
- Healthy Aging at Your Library: Connecting Older Adults to Health Information This "train the trainer" class is designed to help librarians assist their older adult patrons find health information. Discover techniques for teaching older adults to use computers and to find health information on the Internet, learn what makes a website senior-friendly; plan library programs on senior health topics; and find out about some recommended health websites for older adults.
- Improving the Health, Safety, and Well-being of LGBT Populations LGBT individuals face many barriers in accessing healthcare, including discrimination, lack of access, misunderstanding, and fear. As a consequence, many LGBT individuals do not regularly access appropriate and timely care. This class will discuss cultural competency, health information needs, and information resources for working with LGBT patrons.
- NLM’s Online Playground: K-12 Science and Health Education Resources This course will introduce free K-12 resources from the NLM. Resources span a variety of subjects including biology, careers, chemistry, environmental health, forensics and medical technology, general health, genetics, health information tutorials, and HIV/AIDS. The presentation is designed as an introduction to NLM resources for K-12 professionals, public librarians, and individuals working with K-12 populations.
- Will Duct Tape Cure My Warts? Examining Complementary and Alternative Medicine This course will introduce basic concepts in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), issues about research into CAM therapies, evaluating CAM information, recommended websites, and researching evidence about CAM therapies.
The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) provides many of the courses required for certifications from the Medical Library Association at no cost. Additionally, we will sponsor the application cost.