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Archive for July, 2013

Libraries and the Health Insurance Marketplace

Friday, July 26th, 2013

I attended WebJunction’s webinar today, “Libraries and Health Insurance: Preparing for October 1.” The webinar provided guidance for libraries to support the public to access the Health Insurance Marketplace. The recording of the webinar is available on the site:

About the Health Insurance Marketplace

On October 1, 2013, the public can access the CMS to enroll in affordable health insurance. The Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law in March 2010. The ACA makes preventive care more accessible and affordable for many Americans. Some provisions are already in place, and others will be rolled out in coming years. The deadline to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace is March 31, 2014. CItizens not enrolled by the end of March 2013 have to pay a fee and pay for all of their care. The public is encouraged to use to apply for health insurance.

How Your Library Can Help

Libraries are in a unique position to help the public access the Health Insurance Marketplace and refer patrons to resources. Essential resources that libraries need to know about include the site, Navigators and Certified Application Counselors, and the toll-free call center at (800) 318-2596. The toll-free call center is available 24/7 and offers help in English, Spanish, and 150 additional languages. The Navigator program is a federally facilitated and state partnership which certifies Navigators to raise awareness of the Health Insurance Marketplace and help people apply. Navigators are required to take web training, ongoing training, and get recertified annually. Libraries are encouraged to offer programs for the public with Navigators and Certified Application Counselors. A hospital librarian shared with me that she is interested to become a Certified Application Counselor.

New England and State Marketplaces

In New England, some states participate in the federally facilitated marketplace, and others have state marketplaces. The Health Insurance Marketplace helps the public learn how to get insurance in each state. Maine and Rhode Island will use the site to enroll, compare coverage and apply for plans. Other New England states have state marketplaces:

• Connecticut: Access Health CT
• Massachusetts: Health Connector
• Vermont: Vermont Health Connect
• Rhode Island: Health Source RI

The IMLS/CMS Collaboration

The IMLS is partnering withCMS to help librarians support the public to access the Health Insurance Marketplace. Librarians play a vital role in bridging the digital divide. CMS is encouraging librarians to refer patrons to Though, paper forms are also available, and the public can also apply via the call-center. Librarians and the public are encouraged to sign up for Marketplace emails and alerts on

The steps to use the Marketplace include:
1) Create an account.
2) Apply. Open enrollment starts October 1 , 2013 and ends March 31, 2014
3) Pick a plan.
4) Enroll. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014

WebJunction, through a cooperative agreement with IMLS, and the Zero Divide Partnership will be engaging with the state libraries and public libraries to increase the capacity of libraries to help the public with the Affordable Care Act and requests for health information and assistance. Libraries decision how to help is a local decision. At WebJunction’s webinar today, they a public library’s plan to offer an educational event with the local hospital. This is the ideal opportunity for a hospital library/public library partnership.

Essential Affordable Care Act Resources for Librarians:

Health Insurance MarketPlace: a new way to get affordable coverage, includes information for individual and families and small businesses. Answer questions to learn if you qualify for lower costs.

OCLC WebJunction eHealth, a Collaboration between WebJunction and Zero Divide to support library capacity to respond to patron health information requests. The site includes ways to get involved including: reviewing the site; identifying a staff member to champion library-related resources that support health information at your library, and keep staff informed of new information as it becomes available. Libraries are encouraged to make local decisions regarding support for the ACA. WebJunction wants to hear from you. You can sign up on the site to get involved. They want to know if your library already has plans to support ACA needs? What resources would your library like to see to support these information needs? Are there local or statewide partners that you would recommend to others?

MedlinePlus, Health Insurance Health Topic: the NLM’s health information site for patients and families includes many resources about the Affordable Care Act and Health Insurance Marketplace.

Source: WebJunction, July 26, 2013 Webinar

How Mobile Devices are Transforming Disaster Relief and Public Safety

Thursday, July 18th, 2013
The Brookings Institute has published a document examining how mobile technology assists in the creation of early warning systems, aids in emergency coordination, and improves public communications in times of crisis. The authors advise policymakers to make better use of current mobile technologies and promote future advances to provide first responders and citizens with the tools necessary to save lives during threatening events. Governments and businesses alike should take full advantage of mobile technology to mitigate property damage, inform the public and save lives.

Announcement: Consumer Health Toolkit – New Edition!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

We are pleased to announce the publication of the newly revised edition of the Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff!  Completely updated and edited by Kelli Ham, this new edition includes new resources, updated links, and new content throughout the publication. Public library staff, consumer health librarians, and others who provide health information services to the public will find this toolkit to be a vital resource.

Since its publication in 2010, the Toolkit has enjoyed heavy usage nationwide and is regarded as an essential guide for librarians and staff to build and improve core competencies in consumer health. It is used as the course textbook for the NN/LM  online class titled, “Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: The Essentials of Providing Consumer Health Services,” and it is also used as the textbook for library school courses.

What’s in the 2nd edition?

·         65 new resources

·         145 updated annotations and/or URLs

·         74 obsolete entries removed

·         Updated acronyms list with links to organizations

·         New emphasis on MedlinePlus content

·         New content types (health check tools and mobile apps and sites)

·         Enhancements to the Evaluation page, including understanding the HONcode

NN/LM PSR collaborated with UC Davis Health System on several aspects of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant, and the printing and distribution of this second edition to California public libraries has been made possible by funding from the grant. We are also grateful for the continued support from the California State Library, which hosts the publication on its website.

The Toolkit is available at

Beginner/Refresher DOCLINE course FREE

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Want a beginner/refresher course on DOCLINE that is free, at your desk AND includes free MLA CE? The 4-week, 1 hour per week webinar series is about to start.

The first in the series of DOCLINE training webinars, for 2013-2014, will begin next week:

Beginning DOCLINE,   Wednesday,   July 17, 2013
When:  12 p.m.  Central Time

It’s recommended that you have access to DOCLINE to take the class (The hands-on component of the class requires you to log-in to your DOCLINE account to complete the interactive exercises.)
The classes are FREE.  To login all you need do is key in your name and Enter as a guest.  You will receive instructions for the audio portion after entering the room.   Captioning will be provided.
You are eligible to receive 1 MLA CE credit for each class you take.


Wednesday,   July 17, 2013   – Beginning DOCLINE
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 –   DOCLINE: Serial Holdings
Wednesday,   July 31, 2013 – DOCLINE: Routing Tables
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 – DOCLINE: Borrow and Lend

Classes begin at (check your time zone)…

10 am (Pacific Time Zone)
11 am (Mountain Time Zone)
12 pm (Central Time Zone)
1 pm (Eastern Time Zone)

We start promptly at the top of the hour. PLEASE arrive on time!
You can join the class and call-in 15 minutes before the class begins.
You are encouraged to test your connection prior to joining the class. To test your connection, go to this web address

Questions to :

Jim Honour,  MLIS
Member Services Coordinator
National Network of Libraries of Medicine MidContinental Region

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