Sometimes, “passing the buck” is the best course of action.
An example of a good referral system is San Francisco Public Library. Leah Esguerra is a social worker who has ties with several community health centers and shelters. This does not mean that we have to employ a social worker or a nurse in our library, but this is to emphasize the importance of knowing the resources available in your community.
A – acetaminophenB – glucophage
A – alprazolam (Xanax)B – naproxen (Aleve)
A – Relafen (Anti-inflammatory)B - Tylenol
Dr. Arnott-Smith is an associate professor in University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies
Consumer Health Information
CONSUMER HEALTH LITERACY
Professional Development Office
Indiana State Library
“The degree to which individuals have the capacity
to obtain, process, and understand basic health
information and services needed to make
appropriate health decisions.“ – National Network of
Libraries of Medicine
Timely and relevant information about health
More Americans are using the library to get
Technology makes information more accessible to
patrons – smart phones, tablets
Public librarians need to be aware of what is “new”
Public librarians are “keepers of knowledge.”
THE ROLE OF A PUBLIC LIBRARIAN
How to be an effective librarian
Language appropriate for audience
Awareness of commonly asked
Ability to evaluate information
Literacy – information, digital
Mastery of medical terminology*
Clear cut policies
Collection development policy
Resources available in community
Guidelines as outlined in RUSA Guidelines for
Medical, Legal and Business Resources
Consult your lawyer/legal counsel
WHO ARE OUR RESOURCES
Community health centers
Urgent care centers
Police/fire department - EMS
Is this passing the buck?
Referral is the best action
SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
The library has its own social worker, Leah
Esguerra, because of the significant increase in the
number of homeless people.
They have a good relationship with community
LET’S TEST OUR KNOWLEDGE!
As much as we love watching crime
drama, do not follow the protagonists’
ways of identifying the drug!
Catherine Arnott-Smith, PhD
1. Do not interpret medical information.
2. Do not give medical advice or provide medical
3. Do not recommend a method or procedure of
4. Do not recommend a drug or alternate drug.
5. Do not provide a diagnosis.
6. Do not recommend a particular practitioner.
7. Do describe your role, its limitations, and the
limitations of medical information.
HEALTH LITERACY: SOURCES
INSPIRE MedlinePlus database
US Department of Health and Human Services
National Networks of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM)
Consumer & Patient Information Services (CAPHIS)
Medical Library Association – members
HEALTH LITERACY: INSPIRE RESOURCES
Biomedical Reference Collection: Basic Edition
Access to more than 100 full text journals covering such disciplines as clinical
medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pre-clinical sciences and the health care system.
Health Business™ FullTEXT
Full text coverage of nearly 130 well-known administrative journals such as H&HN:
Hospitals & Health Networks, Health Management Technology, Modern Healthcare, and
Health Source: Consumer Edition
Rich collection of consumer health information available to libraries worldwide. This
resource provides access to nearly 300 full text, consumer health periodicals, including
American Fitness, Better Nutrition, Fit Pregnancy, Harvard Health
Letter, HealthFacts, Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, Prevention, Vegetarian Times, and
Health Source®: Nursing/Academic Edition
550 scholarly full text journals focusing on many medical disciplines.
MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus
brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health
(NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.
MEDLINE® provides authoritative medical information on
medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical
sciences, and much more.
MEDLINEPlus – www.medlineplus.gov
National Library of Medicine consumer website
Resources are collated by medical librarians
Little commercial content compared to others
Transparent Collection Policy -
National Network of Libraries of Medicine -
Consumer and Patient Health Information Services
PubMed - www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
For more information:
Shirdellah “Shir” Groulx
Southwest Region Coordinator
Indiana State Library