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Healthy and Digital Literacy Train the Trainer Program

This project will enhance Miami-Dade Public Library System’s (MDPLS) ability to provide health literacy information and reference services to the public through the expansion of staff health literacy professional development, a program for trauma-informed service staff training and to purchase the Public Library Association’s (PLA) customizable Digital Learn online platform offering training for digital literacy and health information. MDPLS plans to increase its CHIS Level I specialization recipients in direct support of the Miami-Dade County’s health and wellness initiatives and future programming. A Board of County Commissioner’s resolution obliged the MDPLS regional libraries to either create in-house, or through partnership with local health education providers, monthly health information and wellness programs. MDPLS will be opening the Westchester Health and Wellness Information Center in 2021. In collaboration with educators at National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic region (NNLM SEA), the “Stand Up for Health” courses will be available for MDPLS and other municipal public library staff to complete the course in addition to participating in several Learning Circles. This funding request also includes a retainer for a Learning Circles facilitator for trauma-informed service or presenter for bibliotherapy training for library staff in the spring of 2021. These professional development courses would increase awareness of the effects of trauma on human behavior, improve customer service, and provide staff with tools to diffuse conflict. PLA Digital Learn would be branded for MDPLS to be used for virtual and in-person public-facing reference services and programming. The project is in direct support of NNLM’s All of Us outreach program increasing public awareness of and access to quality health information and health literacy education available from NLM and NNLM. Health literacy requires digital literacy skills to access and discover consumer health information using technology. The Digital Learn website merges modules for digital literacy and health literacy, with additional modules in progress. An MDPLS branded Digital Learn link would offer patron access to lessons that include the skills necessary to become savvy consumers of health information, while providing content for staff-led digital literacy programming and would demonstrate project impact through learner analytics. The MDPLS Digital Learn website would advance the NNLM goal to improve public health by providing libraries with the tools necessary to provide health reference and information services, thereby improving patrons’ access to information that enables them to make educated decisions about their health. MDPLS Digital Learn also provides a platform for asynchronous self-paced lessons to be developed by staff for specific topics relevant to their communities and serves as a resource for virtual. Virtual offerings are especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Libraries are re-envisioning service models, including virtual and in-person programming and outreach. Library spaces may not be available for traditional use or will need to operate at limited capacity for occupancy and service in order to abide by recommended health and safety standards such as physical distancing. Virtual service delivery is safest to prevent virus exposure and spread. The MDPLS Digital Learn website would create access to tools to safely and expeditiously continue programming supporting digital and health literacies critical for post-pandemic recovery.
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
All of Us
African Americans or Black
Latino or Hispanic
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
Community based organization staff
Educator, college & post-grad
General public
Library or information professional
Public health professional
Student, college & post-grad
Project Lead:
Athanasia Fitos
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
Aug 27, 2020 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status: