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Archive for January, 2014

“Evidence” — what does that mean?

Monday, January 27th, 2014

New OERC Blog posting! This is to let you know that a new OERC Blog article has become available. You can find this article online here. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve posted the article below:

“Evidence” — what does that mean?

In our health information outreach work we are expected to provide evidence of the value of our work, but there are varying definitions of the word “evidence.” The classical evidence-based medicine approach (featuring results from randomized controlled clinical trials) is a model that is not always relevant in our work. At the 2013 EBLIP7 meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, Denise Kaufogiannakis presented a keynote address that is now available as an open-access article on the web:

“What We Talk About When We Talk About Evidence” Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice 2013 8.4

This article looks at various interpretations of what it means to provide “evidence” such as

theoretical (ideas, concepts and models to explain how and why something works),
empirical (measuring outcomes and effectiveness via empirical research), and
experiential (people’s experiences with an intervention).

Kaufogiannakis points out that academic librarians’ decisions are usually made in groups of people working together and she proposes a new model for evidence-based library and information practice:

1) Articulate – come to an understanding of the problem and articulate it. Set boundaries and clearly articulate a problem that requires a decision.

2) Assemble – assemble evidence from multiple sources that are most appropriate to the problem at hand. Gather evidence from appropriate sources.

3) Assess – place the evidence against all components of the wider overarching problem. Assess the evidence for its quantity and quality. Evaluate and weigh evidence sources. Determine what the evidence says as a whole.

4) Agree – determine the best way forward and if working with a group, try to achieve consensus based on the evidence and organizational goals. Determine a course of action and begin implementation of the decision.

5) Adapt – revisit goals and needs. Reflect on the success of the implementation. Evaluate the decision and how it has worked in practice. Reflect on your role and actions. Discuss the situation
with others and determine any changes required.

Kaufogiannakis concludes by reminding us that “Ultimately, evidence, in its many forms, helps us find answers. However, we can’t just accept evidence at face value. We need to better understand evidence – otherwise we don’t really know what ‘proof’ the various pieces of evidence provide.

Creative Health Literacy Projects Webinar

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The Creative Health Literacy Projects webinar was publicized with the incorrect time.  The webinar will be held on Tuesday, February 11th from 10:30 – 11:30 AM ET.  The previous blog post and training page are now updated with the correct time.


Upcoming Webinars

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The Healthy Community and Health Literacy Communities of Interest (COIs) invite you to attend our upcoming webinars.  Participants will earn 1 Medical Library Association CE unit for attending each webinar.

Register at:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 10:30 – 11:30 AM ET
CDC Clear Communication Index Train-the-Trainer
Presenter: Anne Conner

Anne Conner, the NER’s Health Literacy COI Leader, created a presentation on the CDC Clear Communication Index to share with departments at her hospital. The CDC Clear Communication Index (Index) is a new research-based tool to plan and assess public communication materials. Cynthia Baur, the CDC’s Senior Advisor for Health Literacy, presented an introduction to the Index at our Community of Interest’s September webinar. You can watch the recording of the September webinar on our Health Literacy Community of Interest website.

The Index may be new to staff at your organization and presents a great opportunity to be the first to spread word about this helpful resource and use it to create and assess communication materials such as patient education resources. Anne will demo her presentation for you and share her experience working with diabetes education and the infusion department. You can borrow the presentation she created to use at your own hospital/organization.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 10:30 – 11:30 AM ET
Creative Health Literacy Projects

Come hear about three creative health literacy projects.  Presenters include:

  • Margo Coletti (Director of Knowledge Services at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), Consenting Adults Project
  • Nancy Goodwin (Tremaine Library, Middlesex Hospital), Rewriting the Hospital’s Admission Booklet
  • Paula Raimondo (Head of Research, Education and Outreach Services for the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library, Communicating with Patients Workshop

Tuesday, March 4, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET
Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics Book Discussion with authors Steven Woloshin and Lisa Scwartz 

The book is available in full text in the PubMed Bookshelf.

Health Happens in Libraries: Health Information Resources for Library Staff

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

I recently attended this WebJunction webinar and wanted to pass on the information as it has been archived for future viewing.  Audio, chat slides and handouts are available at


Public libraries provide a variety of health reference services and public programs to support community health literacy. Health literacy has been described by the Institute of Medicine as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) provides comprehensive health information resources and services to libraries across eight regions nationwide. Join this WebJunction webinar to learn more about the health information resources available through the National Library of Medicine and the NN/LM. Representatives of the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Regional Medical Library will discuss their collaborative efforts with public libraries regarding the Affordable Care Act and other popular health information topics. They will be joined by a representative from Santa Ana Public Library, and together share strategies for strengthening your own library’s health information services, to improve the health literacy of your community.

Moderated by: WebJunction

Presented by:

  • Alan Carr, Acting Associate Director, NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region, UCLA Louise Darling Biomedical Library
  • Kelli Ham, Consumer Health and Technology Coordinator, NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region, UCLA Louise Darling Biomedical Library
  • Milly C. Lugo-Rios, Senior Librarian, Adult Services, Santa Ana Public Library
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