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ABCs of DNA: Unraveling the Mystery of Genetics Information for Consumers


Consumers need access to information and resources about genetic information in a manner that is understandable. Librarians working with the public need to be aware of the issues surrounding genetics and resources to assist patrons in locating and evaluating sometimes complex and confusing information. This class explores basic concepts such as genes and chromosomes and offers an overview of genetic disorders, genetic testing, genetic counseling, and the Human Genome Project. Ethical and legal issues associated with genetic disorders will be covered with regard to privacy, discrimination, and potential legislative impact on medicine and society. A variety of reliable health information resources will be demonstrated, including, but not limited to: Genetics Home Reference,, NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders), and MedlinePlus. This 4-hour hands-on class is intended for consumers, public librarians, and health sciences librarians who work with the public. This class is also offered online.

Course Materials

Course Powerpoint Presentation powerpoint presentation
Web Resources Microsoft Word

Continuing Education

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours (8 hours online) of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association. Certificates will be delivered through the mail at a later date.


Greater Midwest Region

Holly Ann Burt, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator, ,

Midcontinental Region

Dana Abbey, Health Information Literacy Coordinator/Colorado, Health Information Literacy Coordinator/Colorado,

Middle Atlantic Region

Carrie Iwema, Information Specialist in Molecular Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Teaching for NN/LM MAR,

Pacific Northwest Region

Carolyn Martin, Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator, ,

Pacific Southwest Region

Lori Tagawa, Community Outreach Coordinator, , ,

Southeastern Atlantic Region

Terri Ottosen, Consumer Health Coordinator, ,

Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, ,


Terri Ottosen is the Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator for the NN/LM Southeastern Atlantic Region.