The topic of mental health can be one of the most challenging issues for library staff, especially when faced with tough questions or when interacting with patrons who are exhibiting signs of mental illness. NN/LM PSR is collaborating with the California State Library on a statewide initiative to help libraries improve services in this area. The Mental Health Initiative is an LSTA grant that provides several different types of training for public library staff. Through in-person and online trainings, and access to a brand new series of videos on mental health, library staff can increase their knowledge and develop skills for providing mental health resources and information to their patrons. Through the LSTA grant, the State Library provided instructor training for Mental Health First Aid, and the trainees will in turn provide sessions for their own libraries and communities. Mental Health First Aid is similar to medical first aid; essentially, it is the response by a non-medically trained person to provide immediate and temporary care, or assist until professional help arrives. In a library setting, it could be viewed as the spectrum of responses to patron behaviors that may indicate a mental illness or a mental health emergency. (more…)
Archive for the ‘MedlinePlus’ Category
Express Outreach Award Highlights: Building an Environmental Health Information Program, A Collaboration Between Charles R. Drew University (CDU) Pipeline and the CDU Health Sciences Library
by Joshua Shulman, MSIS, Emerging Technology Librarian; Zebib Yemane, B.S., Library Aide; and Darlene Parker-Kelly, MSLS, Director
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Health Sciences Library
Los Angeles, CA
The Charles R. Drew University Health Sciences Library received NN/LM PSR Express Outreach Award funding in 2015-16 to conduct a project promoting the value and awareness of National Library of Medicine health information resources focusing on environmental health. The University has a robust Pipeline program and the project was implemented in collaboration with community partners. The foremost objective was to introduce selected National Library of Medicine resources to students (K-12 and college), teachers (K-12 and college), parents and community members. A planning committee was established, composed of staff persons from the CDU Pipeline program, faculty from the Masters of Public Health program, a CDU researcher, librarians/library staff and the Library Director. Several events were planned which included contacting external members of the community, including the Principal at Compton Early College Program, the coordinator of the King/Drew Magnet High School College Bound Program, and Congresswomen Janice Hahn’s office. While the initial program was designed primarily for K-12 students and Pipeline students, the external partners recommended additional outreach activities to introduce and promote the use of National Library of Medicine resources at external events. (more…)
Express Outreach Award Highlights: Finding Reliable Health Information Online: Trusted Sources & MedlinePlus
by Mira Geffner, Librarian
Bay Area Cancer Connections
Medical Information Services
Palo Alto, CA
Bay Area Cancer Connections offers information and support to people touched by breast and ovarian cancer. Our comprehensive lending library, educational brochures, and medical information specialist service are integral to the organization’s work – helping patients and loved ones to find accurate medical information that can guide their care.
Through the project Finding Reliable Health Information Online, funded by the NN/LM PSR Express Outreach Awards program, we sought to increase health information literacy and awareness of MedlinePlus among members of the breast and ovarian cancer communities, minority healthcare trainees, and members of minority communities. We did this through a series of health information literacy training sessions and outreach exhibits. Working collaboratively with partner organizations, we delivered an educational presentation at a public library and at a community non-profit agency that provides vocational training for healthcare workers. We also offered this session as an in-service training for Bay Area Cancer Connections Helpline volunteers, and for our clients and members of the public. Through lecture, exercises, and discussion, participants learned how to critically evaluate health information and to use MedlinePlus as their go-to site for discovering quality health information. Health information literacy and MedlinePlus awareness also became a component of our regular outreach calendar.
In numeric terms, we planned six outreach exhibits and completed more than 20, reaching more individuals than we had hoped. We also completed the four educational events we had proposed. The most rewarding outcomes we saw were in the organizational relationships we developed and deepened over the course of the project. Internally, this project helped to strengthen bonds between the Bay Area Cancer Connections library and our Marketing and Volunteer Resources departments, as we collaborated on outreach work. We also formed a new external partnership with the Mountain View Public Library, our organization’s first public library partnership and one on which we hope to build.
Getting to know the staff and resources at our RML was invaluable as well, and we are confident that the relationships we have developed in the course of this project will be helpful as we plan our health information literacy and outreach work for the future. Funding from this project allowed two staff members to attend a PubMed for Trainers class, which has boosted our research skills.
Although we designed this project with an understanding that MedlinePlus and health information literacy instruction are important, it was striking to see the extent of the need. Most training session participants were unfamiliar with MedlinePlus prior to the session; those who had used the site had used only a small subset of its features and were grateful to learn more. The project staff noted that it would have been beneficial to vary the pace of our educational sessions more to suit the information literacy level of our audiences. And organizationally, we believe we could have done more to promote off-site events in-house, and better clarified mutual expectations with our project partners. Our award period has ended, but our outreach and MedlinePlus promotion continue, and we are looking forward to building on this project in the future!
NN/LM PSR Community Outreach Coordinator Lori Tagawa has accepted a new position in the UCLA Office of Academic Services beginning April 4. Her last day in the RML will be Friday, April 1. Lori has been an employee of the UCLA Louise M. Biomedical Library for a total of 7.5 years, the last five as NN/LM PSR Community Outreach Coordinator. Lori has been a great asset to the RML, and she will be deeply missed. The good news is that she is not going far away, just to the other end of the UCLA campus! (more…)
In January of 2015 NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, formed a working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) for the purpose of reviewing the programs of the NLM and making recommendations for a vision for the library that would ensure its continued role as an international leader in biomedical and health information. In carrying out its charge, the working group issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting public input regarding NLM. The RFI was active from February 13 to March 13, 2015, with 650 respondents providing feedback. At NLM’s September 17, 2015, Board of Regents meeting, Dr. Barbara Rapp, Chief, Office of Planning and Analysis, summarized the responses to the NIH RFI. She found that comments were submitted from across the broad range of NLM users, including medical librarians; researchers in biomedicine, biomedical informatics and computational biology; clinical, public health, and emergency response practitioners; historians; health information technology developers; journal publishers; and educators. (more…)
October is National Medical Librarians Month (NMLM)! Highlighting the fact that medical librarians are the best and most cost effective way to obtain quality health information, this year’s NMLM theme is Are You A Risk Taker? When you need to be right, ask your medical librarian. In honor of this event, we are recognizing the contributions of medical librarians by promoting Network member outreach projects. (more…)
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), and the Great American Shakeout is just around the corner after that. Is your library prepared for a disaster or emergency? Taking steps to prepare for emergencies has clear benefits; it helps reduce fear and anxiety beforehand and can reduce or avoid losses and devastating impacts associated with the event. (more…)
Express Outreach Award Highlights: Teaching Mobile Access to Health Information and Promoting MedlinePlus Connect
by Naomi C. Broering, MLS, MA, FMLA
Dean of Libraries
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
San Diego, CA
Mobile devices are popular for using the powers of a conventional computer in environments where carrying one would be impractical. Loading pertinent Apps to mobile devices makes access to information, when needed, quick and easy. Instantaneous, on-demand access of NLM’s PubMed and MedlinePlus mobile sites accelerates results to health information queries and improves health care delivery. There is no doubt that MedlinePlus Connect for practitioners with EHR capability provides immediate highly useful patient education summaries during an office or hospital visit. However, there are major segments of San Diego’s diverse community without the ability or knowledge to benefit from these advances. (more…)
by Yamila El-Khayat, M.A.
Outreach Services Librarian
Arizona Health Sciences Library
University of Arizona
This year our Outreach program in Arizona had quite a diverse set of programs reaching various populations within the state and beyond. This article provides a mini-overview of the many events accomplished. (more…)