Consumer
Health and the
Public Library
Issues for Consideration



Lisa Philpotts
INLS 843
UNC School of Information and L...
The Demand for Health Information
The Demand for Health Information
The   emand for Health Information




                          Health
                     Information!
The Demand for Health Information

  • Decreased continuity of care
  • Health providers have less time
  • Personal respo...
The Demand for Health Information

80% of American Internet users over the age of 18 have gone online to search
          ...
Health Literacy

the ability to read, understand, and act
on health information

                         the ability to u...
Sources of Health Information

 •Primary care provider
 •Pharmacies
 •Clinics and non-profits
 •Family and friends
 •Inter...
How does the public library/public librarian fit in?
Where does consumer health fit into our mission?
           What do w...
Inquiries about health are unavoidable..

 One of the top-five or top-ten topics of interest to
 patrons.


 Up to   20% o...
Collection Development
Legal Liability



 HIPAA
Legal Liability


   “Our research has not uncovered a single case in
Canada, the United States, or Great Britain in which...
Different Viewpoints



     a solution to privacy issues:



               the appropriate role for the public
         ...
Different Viewpoints


   When asked whether she had a list of community agencies to which
               to refer users, ...
Different Viewpoints

   People come to the library, it's nonjudgmental. They can get basic
   information that puts them ...
Health Programming
More Health Programming: In Pictures
 Corona Library Take a Hike! Health and Fitness
  Expo
 Dogwood Library Health Expo...
Displays




Displays by San Antonio Public Library   CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Partnerships and
Health Spaces




   Photos by http://www.flickr.com/photos/topekalibrary/   CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
References
   Borman, C. B., & McKenzie, P. J. (2005). Trying to help without getting in
   their faces public library sta...
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Consumer Health and the Public Library

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A presentation meant to spur discussion about the issues surrounding consumer health information provision in public libraries. Presented in UNC SILS Seminar in Public Libraries (INLS 843).

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Consumer Health and the Public Library

  1. 1. Consumer Health and the Public Library Issues for Consideration Lisa Philpotts INLS 843 UNC School of Information and Library Science
  2. 2. The Demand for Health Information
  3. 3. The Demand for Health Information
  4. 4. The emand for Health Information Health Information!
  5. 5. The Demand for Health Information • Decreased continuity of care • Health providers have less time • Personal responsibility • Preventative care movement • Patient activists • Aging baby boomers • Medicine in the media • Technological advances • Online health info
  6. 6. The Demand for Health Information 80% of American Internet users over the age of 18 have gone online to search for health information at least once. 25% of health info seekers felt overwhelmed by the amount of online information 75% of health info seekers report checking the source and date “only sometimes,” “hardly ever,” or “never.” (Fox, 2006)
  7. 7. Health Literacy the ability to read, understand, and act on health information the ability to understand basic health care communications, such as prescription instructions and insurance forms 90 million people in the US have difficulty understanding and using health information (Institute of Medicine, 2004)
  8. 8. Sources of Health Information •Primary care provider •Pharmacies •Clinics and non-profits •Family and friends •Internet •Mass media •Support groups •Schools •Medical libraries •Public libraries
  9. 9. How does the public library/public librarian fit in? Where does consumer health fit into our mission? What do we have to offer?
  10. 10. Inquiries about health are unavoidable.. One of the top-five or top-ten topics of interest to patrons. Up to 20% of total reference requests (Wood et al., 2000) Problems with providing health information? What to do about them?
  11. 11. Collection Development
  12. 12. Legal Liability HIPAA
  13. 13. Legal Liability “Our research has not uncovered a single case in Canada, the United States, or Great Britain in which a librarian has been sued for providing negligent information. That it has not yet happened, however, does not mean that it will not happen.” (Sutherland & Gibson, 2007)
  14. 14. Different Viewpoints a solution to privacy issues: the appropriate role for the public library is not to answer any consumer health information questions at all
  15. 15. Different Viewpoints When asked whether she had a list of community agencies to which to refer users, this respondent replied: "I don't have a list. Just because if they need that kind of a list, then they need to talk to their doctor. I'm not here to, um, play doctor. And their doctor will give them a good current list. It's not something that I've had a need to know." (Borman & McKenzie, 2005)
  16. 16. Different Viewpoints People come to the library, it's nonjudgmental. They can get basic information that puts them in touch with the right person. There really are not a lot of walk-in places for information in rural areas, which is why the library is all-important. It's one of those places that, uh, community places.... It's a welcoming place, and we have a lot of people that come in just because it's a place to come to. And that is one of the things that we, as a library, try to encourage. We want people to be comfortable here.... And the same thing with the mental health information and the consumer information, any information; a rural library provides a very unique service and we have to be approachable…. (Borman & McKenzie, 2005)
  17. 17. Health Programming
  18. 18. More Health Programming: In Pictures  Corona Library Take a Hike! Health and Fitness Expo  Dogwood Library Health Expo  A special National Childrens’ Dental Health Month storytime at the Oak Grove Public Library
  19. 19. Displays Displays by San Antonio Public Library CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  20. 20. Partnerships and Health Spaces Photos by http://www.flickr.com/photos/topekalibrary/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
  21. 21. References Borman, C. B., & McKenzie, P. J. (2005). Trying to help without getting in their faces public library staff descriptions of providing consumer health information. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 45(2), 133-136, 140- 146. Fox, S. (2006). Online Health Search 2006. Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2006/Online- Health-Search-2006.aspx Institute of Medicine. Health literacy [electronic resource] : A prescription to end confusion (2004). Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. Sutherland, J., & Gibson, E. (2007). Guiding patrons to online health information: Can librarians be found liable? Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 31(2), 179-196. Wood, F. B., Lyon, B., Schell, M. B., Kitendaugh, P., Cid, V. H., & Siegel, E. R. (2000). Public library consumer health information pilot project: Results of a national library of medicine evaluation. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 88(4), 314-322.

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