Training Public Library Workers to be Health Information Providers: an Analysis of a Five-Year Outreach Project by a US Medical Library

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Objective: To determine the value of a program instituted by an academic medical library to train public library workers across the State of Tennessee, US to deliver quality health information to patrons.

Methods: Qualitative analysis including focus groups.

Results: The East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Medical Library used four three-hour classes developed by the US National Library of Medicine to train public library workers across the State of Tennessee over the last five years. All four classes were offered multiple times in the nine regions of the state public library system. Approximately 250 library workers received the Consumer Health Information Specialization designation from the US Medical Library Association for participating in 12 hours of training. The motivation behind this effort was reports that the first place people with a new diagnosis go for information is the public library.

Conclusion: We wanted to look for evidence to see if there was value in this project in order to know whether to repeat it in the future or whether to promote it as a model to other geographical areas. A qualitative analysis of the results of the project will be presented at the conference.


Manchester, UK

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