VCU Libraries' free two-day workshop explores consumer health information
March 15, 2017
VCU Libraries' health sciences librarians will share their knowledge about providing accurate consumer health information to library patrons. The April 20-21 workshop is designed for librarians working in public, community college, academic or hospital settings. Library students and others interested in providing or creating a community- or patient-focused library are also invited to attend.
The sessions will be taught by experienced health sciences librarians:
Emily J. Hurst, MSLS, AHIP, Head, Research and Education, VCU Libraries, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences on the MCV Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Tompkins-McCaw, among the oldest medical libraries in the South, serves the five academic programs on the medical campus as well as clinicians and practicing and teaching practitioners.
Dana L. Ladd, Ph.D., who directs VCU’s Community Health Education Center, a consumer health library for patients, their families and the public, This is one of the nation’s few consumer health libraries housed inside a major urban teaching hospital. The center, in the Gateway Building is part of VCU Health. It serves 1,500 patrons monthly and thousands more through its online resources. Its staff also presents at health fairs and other public events designed to educate consumers about how to find reliable health information.
“More people are turning to the internet for health information,” says Ladd. Studies demonstrate that patients make medical decisions based on information they find online, potentially making decisions about their health based on unreliable information. It is important for patients to have access to high quality sources of health information written in language they can understand. Librarians play an essential role in promoting resources to patients and teaching patients to evaluate critically information they find.”
Five sessions explore the topic
On Thursday, the workshop kicks off with an afternoon class, Take Two Apps and Call Me in the Morning: Mobile Applications for Health and Wellness taught by Hurst. This is the first time this class will be offered before May's annual meeting of the Medical Library Association. Upon completion of this class participants will:
- Use criteria to evaluate health and wellness applications on various mobile platforms;
- Understand the difference between health and wellness and medical apps;
- Be aware of resources for staying up to date on apps for patients and consumers.
On Friday, “Providing Consumer Health Information to Patrons” will continue with Ladd teaching about providing health information from the vantage point of a consumer health librarian with nearly 20 years experience. Participants will learn how to:
- Communicate effectively with patrons;
- Conduct a medical reference interview;
- Evaluate online health information and;
- Find reliable health information in a variety of formats and reading levels to meet the needs of low-literacy patrons and speakers of other languages.
Details and registration
The workshop is free to participants. One night’s hotel stay will be provided for the first 10 out-of-town participants who register. Mileage and parking for all workshop attendees will be reimbursed. Food and during workshop sessions is provided.
Seating is limited to 25. Librarians who complete all sessions will receive credit (10 hours) toward the Consumer Health Information Specialist Certification from the Medical Libraries Association. Librarians who already hold this certification may use the hours for recertification.
Sessions will be broken up by breaks, lunch, networking time and informative tours.
You are free to register for one or both days but preference will be given to attendees who want to attend both sessions to earn their certification.