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Library Trends Issues on Consumer Health Information

NN/LM PNR’s own Consumer Health Coordinator, Gail Kouame, is a contributing author to the two most recent volumes of Library Trends, dealing with consumer health information issues. The issues are Library Trends, 53(2) and 53(3), Fall 2004 and Winter 2005 “Consumer Health Issues, Trends, and Research: Parts 1 & 2”, edited by Tammy L. Mays, from the NN/LM GMR in Chicago, IL. You will find articles by health sciences and public librarians and others who are working with librarians to bring health information to the public.

The Internet has propelled the consumer health movement to the forefront of libraries. Academic health sciences, clinical, hospital, consumer health, and public librarians across the country are seeing a continuous growth in the number of requests for health information from their patrons. Internet savvy consumers are completing their own online health information searches. Patrons are seeking free, quality, electronic health information written in lay terminology, though both Internet and non-Internet users are seeking librarians for what they cannot find. An exploration of consumer health issues, trends, and research is covered in these issues of Library Trends. In part 1–Strategic Strides toward a Better Future–contributors examine the many facets that comprise consumer health information services; part 2–Applicable Research in the 21st Century–promotes creative partnerships and models between agencies and library institutions and delivers strategies for achieving health literacy in a variety of communities.

Articles and Authors Include:

Part 1

    “Meeting the Health Information Needs of Diverse Populations,” Kristine M. Alpi and Barbara M. Bibel

    “Where Am I to Go? Use of the Internet for Consumer Health Information by Two Vulnerable Communities,” Ellen Gay Detlefsen

    “Working with Immigrant and Refugee Populations: Issues and Hmong Case Study,” Margaret (Peg) Allen, Suzanne Matthew, and Mary Jo Boland

    “Watch Your Language,” Heidi T. Sandstrom

    “Medical Textbooks: Can Lay People Read and Understand Them?” Lynda M. Baker and Claudia J. Gollop

    “Why Develop Web-Based Health Information Workshops for Consumers?” Diane K. Kovacs

    “Training the Health Information Seeker: Quality Issues in Health Information Web Sites,” Javier Crespo

    “MedlinePlus®: The National Library of Medicine® Brings Quality Information to Health Consumers,” Naomi Miller, Rebecca J. Tyler, and Joyce E. B. Backus

Part 2

    “Providing Health Information to Community Members Where They Are: Characteristics of the Culturally Competent Librarian,” Nancy Ottman Press and Mary Diggs-Hobson

    “Collaboration and Marketing Ensure Public and Medical Library Viability,” Stephanie Weldon

    “Health Information Literacy: A Library Case Study,” Erica Burnham and Eileen Beany Peterson

    “Access to Electronic Health Information for the Public: Analysis of Fifty-Three Funded Projects,” Angela B. Ruffin, Keith Cogdill, Lalitha Kutty, and Michelle Hudson-Ochillo

    “Building Community Bridges for Health: Consumer Health Librarians as Health Advocates,” Michele A. Spatz

    “Philly Health Info: The College of Physicians of Philadelphia’s Regional Community Health Information Project,” Andrea Kenyon

    “Consumer Health Information from Both Sides of the Reference Desk,” Gail Kouame, Margo Harris, and Susan Murray

    “Factors Affecting the Provision of Consumer Health Information in Public Libraries: The Last Five Years,” Mary L. Gillaspy

    “Consumer Health Information Services at Iowa City Public Library,” Candice Smith, Kara Logsden, and Maeve Clark

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