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Training and Continuing Education Opportunities

Online Training

From Beyond Our Borders: Providing Multilingual and Multicultural Health Information – Course

This class is designed to assist librarians and others who work with diverse populations in locating health information. The resources presented are selected for their emphasis on providing culturally relevant information in the preferred language of the population. Background information on refugees and immigrants in the U.S. and their unique health issues will be presented. Participants will have the opportunity to become familiar with the features and scope of several Internet resources. The class will be taught via Moodle and includes short readings, videos, and activities.

Wednesday, January 3 to Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Location: Online

Cost: Free


From Snake Oil to Penicillin: Evaluating Consumer Health on the Internet – Course

This hands-on course will describe why it is important to evaluate websites. Participants will be given criteria for how to evaluate health information on the Internet.

Monday, January 8 to Monday, January 29, 2018

Location: Online

Cost: Free


Caring for the Mind: Providing Mental Health Information At Your Library

Responding to questions involving topics on mental health is challenging even for the most experienced librarian. In Caring for the Mind, participants will learn how to effectively provide mental health information at their libraries. Participants will learn about the best electronic resources to consult as well as ways to improve their print collections. Best approaches for handling interactions with emotional patrons will also be discussed. Other topics covered include: bibliotherapy; assessment/testing; and the future of mental health. This class will increase participants’ skills for providing mental health information for care providers and the public.

Thursday, January 25, 2018
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Location: Online

Cost: Free


Health and Wellness Competencies: An Infopeople Independent Online Learning Series

This training consists of six self-paced online modules that will help librarians and library staff gain the knowledge to provide outstanding consumer health services and extend the role of the library with regard to building healthy communities. The modules utilize the Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff as its textbook, a free resource created through a partnership between the California State Library and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region (NN/LM PSR).

Location: Online

Cost: California
$ 25.00
Out of State
$ 50.00

This training consists of six self-paced online modules that will help librarians and library staff gain the knowledge to provide outstanding consumer health services and extend the role of the library with regard to building healthy communities. The modules utilize the Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff as its textbook, a free resource created through a partnership between the California State Library and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region (NN/LM PSR).An account must be created and the user signed in to register for the course.

On-Demand Training

Health Happens in Libraries: Health Information Resources for Library Staff

Public libraries provide a variety of health reference services and public programs to support community health literacy. Health literacy has been described by the Institute of Medicine as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.” The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) provides comprehensive health information resources and services to libraries across eight regions nationwide. Join this WebJunction webinar to learn more about the health information resources available through the National Library of Medicine and the NN/LM. Representatives of the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Regional Medical Library will discuss their collaborative efforts with public libraries regarding the Affordable Care Act and other popular health information topics. They will be joined by a representative from Santa Ana Public Library, and together share strategies for strengthening your own library’s health information services, to improve the health literacy of your community.


Health Happens in Libraries: Pathways to Guide Health Education at Your Library

Access to reliable consumer health information is an essential component of individual and community well-being. Because of their unique role and reputation for being open and available to all, public libraries bring valuable assets to supporting local community health efforts. In this WebJunction webinar, participants will explore essential pathways for libraries to address meaningful health information and services. Participants will be introduced to foundational considerations for ensuring ethics and privacy in patron interactions, maintaining health collections at the public library, addressing community health literacy, and supporting healthy communities through partnerships. Participants will also be introduced to resources to advance these topics in their community, and leave the session prepared to join the strong network of public libraries advancing health education nationwide.


Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals

The purpose of this web-based training program is to educate health professionals about public health literacy and their role in providing health information and services and promoting public health literacy. The course uses a 508-compliant template, knowledge checks, scenario-based interactions, video clips, and a post-test to engage learners. The course includes an evaluation, glossary, and resource list.


Public Health and Public Libraries: Librarians as Health Literacy First Responders

Misinformation about health abounds in today’s info-glutted environment. What is the role of public libraries in addressing issues of accurate health information? Public libraries are uniquely positioned to contribute to healthy communities by providing informed access to reliable health information. This panel presentation provides an overview of the field of public health, highlighting innovative health promotion initiatives at public libraries, and covering training and funding resources for health-related library outreach and programming. Join the conversation about building your community’s health literacy.


Conducting a Health Information Reference Interview

Learn the basics of conducting a health information reference interview: identifying the condition that the patron wants to learn about, narrowing to the most relevant information, giving information from more than one source, and clarifying that you retrieved the correct information. Margot Malachowski, Outreach Librarian for Baystate Health, will give you tips on quick-and-dirty searching for impatient patrons. You will learn guidelines for maintaining confidentiality and objectivity at the reference desk. You will learn best uses of MedlinePlus, subscription databases, the Massachusetts Health Connector, “Find a Doctor” websites, and mobile apps in reference work. We will point you toward resources to help you chose print materials for your library.


10 Ways Your Library Can Contribute to Health Literacy

Come learn ten easy ways librarians can do to increase health literacy. We will talk about approaches from the HHS National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy and also the AHRQ Universal Precautions Toolkit. Caroline Marshall and Michelle Eberle will present easy ways you can contribute to health literacy in a big way.


Creative Approaches to Health Information Outreach

Interested in health information outreach, but not sure where to start? Learn from four health information outreach projects about whole process of conducting an outreach project – how to plan, apply for funding, identify community partners, foster collaborations, include assessment and evaluation into your project, implement the project, respond to barriers, increase support for the project, and sustain the project.


Creating an Effective Health Information Handout

Learn how to create an effective health information handout. Our Healthy Communities, Community of Interest Leader, Deb Clark, will teach you the basics, using plain language principles and document design. She will also share examples of easy-to-read materials for you to use as models for your own handouts. Learn skills that will help you play a greater role in patient education at your hospital or organization. This is a two-part program. Between October and December, participants will create their own handouts with support from mentors and peers.


Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff

To assist public library staff in building their capacity to provide reliable, quality health information, the California State Library, in partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region, has developed a new, online professional development toolkit – Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff – with a primary focus on prevention and supporting healthy lifestyles. This webinar will introduce users to the Toolkit and provide an orientation to the many multi-dimensional resources it contains, including core competencies, training resources, collection guidelines, programming ideas and promotional materials. The Toolkit is envisioned as a “living” resource that will evolve over time based on what we learn from its practical applications in the field.


Health Literacy: Making It Clear

Far too often patients are placed at risk for unsafe care because of medical jargon and unclear language. Health literacy is an interactive process requiring that all patients and consumers receive clear communication from all health care providers and systems. This presentation will introduce key principles and components of health literacy and examine some barriers that prevent optimal navigation and use of health information and services.


Prescription for Information: Addressing Health Information Literacy

At the end of the tutorial, health professionals will be able to:

  • Define health literacy and the challenges patients face
  • Recognize the impact low health literacy has on patient care
  • List strategies to improve health information literacy
  • Describe health literacy services provided by medical libraries
  • List one thing you expect to do differently as a result of going through this tutorial

*Must create account to access course


Prescription: Information! Librarians Working with Health Professionals to Improve Health Information Literacy

By the end of this tutorial, participants will be able to:

  • Define health literacy and the challenges patients face
  • Recognize the impact low health literacy has on patient care
  • Name five health information resources and strategies to improve health literacy
  • Describe health literacy services and support provided by the library
  • Name one thing they plan to do differently as a result of this tutorial

*Must create account to access course

Using Technology

Health Happens in Libraries: Technology Planning for eHealth

As the intersection of digital technology and individual health management grows, patrons will turn to libraries to access digital resources and learn how to put technology to work for their health. A recent IMLS study showed that an estimated 37 percent of library computer users (28 million people) explore health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options. Join the Health Happens in Libraries team to learn how public libraries can leverage their technology infrastructure to better serve the health information needs of patrons. Participants will learn best practices and resources for eHealth technology planning for libraries of all sizes. Participants will also be introduced to strategies for communicating with community partners about their technology resources, and identifying ways to build eHealth services through collaboration.


Technology and Health 2.0

In the past several years, two major phenomena have dramatically changed the way people find and share information: mobile devices and social media. It is no secret that patrons are using smart phones and mobile devices for much more than making phone calls. For health information, these devices have become pocket medical encyclopedias, fitness coaches, nutrition calculators, medication reminders, and much more. At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will: be aware of the landscape of mobile devices and understand the differences between apps and mobile sites, be able to evaluate and guide patrons to quality health-related content for mobile devices, be familiar with the benefits and caveats of social networking for health information, and be able to incorporate knowledge of technology and electronic resources into services for patrons.


Social Media and Public Health

Research is showing that more and more of the American public is becoming regular users of social media. Public health departments and agencies across the country have begun to experiment using social media to communicate with an increasingly distracted public. This session will discuss the latest statistics on social media use, how public health departments are using it, will identify some best practices currently in use, and how best to get started integrating social media into your work.

Special Groups

From Baby to Preschooler: Early Childhood Health Resources

Parents and caregivers need current, relevant information to help with early childhood matters such as handling illnesses and injuries, developing healthy habits such as potty training, and providing a safe and nurturing environment for babies to grow into toddlers and beyond. Popular books, websites, and other resources offering opinions and advice are a dime a dozen, but which are accurate and authoritative? Knowing the answer to that question will make the library a trusted resource for help and accurate information.


Operation Health: Resources for Veterans and Their Families

Injured war veterans have always been a part of U.S. history, but the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in a significant increase of debilitating injuries. Returning veterans face many health issues, from physical injuries to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance abuse and suicide. Women returning from deployment face additional issues, while spouses and family members have unique needs of their own. This webinar will provide an overview of the most pressing issues faced by returning veterans and their loved ones and what libraries can do to help.

Specializations and Certifications

Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS)

The Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) will help you keep current in the consumer health information field and obtain an additional, recognized level of expertise. CHIS can help advance the careers of: medical librarians, public librarians, librarians working in consumer health libraries, and allied health professionals. You have three years to gather the contact hours needed, ending with the date you submit your materials. The specialization is valid for three years and may be renewed.

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