Health Information Outreach Award 48
The Community Health Education Center (CHEC) is a library for patients and their family members located in a large academic medical center. CHEC provides patients and their family members with reliable health information written at a level they can understand. In addition to providing patients with health information, The CHEC librarian plans to provide a day-long consumer health information symposium aimed at local public librarians. Public librarians often serve patrons requesting health information. The symposium will provide an overview of CHEC resources. Health sciences librarians will provide training sessions focusing on evaluating online resources, providing consumer health reference services (reference interview and ethics of working with patients), finding consumer health information online including low-literacy resources and resources written in other languages. The symposium will include a tour of CHEC the Massey Cancer Center's Linen Powell library. This symposium will facilitate a sense of community among participants. Often consumer health librarianship can be isolating due to a lack of other consumer health librarians nearby. This program will allow attendees to become acquainted with the CHEC librarian and other VCU Libraries librarians who can provide expertise to support local librarians tasked with answering health-related consumer questions. Likewise, this program will facilitate meeting other like-minded librarians interested in consumer health resources. Overall, this project contributes to the mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine by providing public librarians with the skills and knowledge to provide consumer health information services to diverse populations. The patient population requesting services at the public libraries will have access to reliable, consumer health information from which they can read, understand and use to make informed decisions about their own or a loved one's health.