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Health Literacy: Health Literacy in Libraries

Information and resources for librarians on Health Literacy topics.

What is Health Literacy?

Health Literacy: the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions (https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/learn/index.html). People apply these health literacy skills either to make sense of health information and services or to provide health information and services to others.

Health Literacy Resources

Evaluating Online Health Information

Specific Services and Programs

New England Region

NNLM NER connects librarians, health professionals, and public health workers with health information in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.New England Region

If your organization provides health information services, become a Network Member to learn about freely available, quality health and science information resources.

NER Graphic Medicine Initiative:

Graphic Medicine is an emerging field that considers the role that comics can play in medicine – including medical education, health literacy, healthcare communication, and much more. Each of these areas include heavy involvement of librarians. The NER Graphic Medicine initiative seeks to provide training and tools, to inform and encourage growth in the use of comics in our work.


Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits

If you are curious about medical comics, want to start a book club in your organization, or just want to learn more about the experience of a specific topic, our Graphic Medicine Book Club Kits can help. Each kit includes six copies of a graphic novel, a quick-guide to reading comics, discussion questions, and topic-relevant MedlinePlus information. Currently there are eleven Book Club Kits available at this time, are only available to organizations within the New England Region (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT).

Graphic Medicine Education & Information

Recordings of previous trainings and events, as well as other educational materials related to Graphic Medicine

Find what you need to live the life you want.

MyPlaceCT.org is a free web-based resource from the State of Connecticut that helps you live life independently. Bringing together the information you need to live how and where you choose.http://myplacect.org

About My Place CT

MyPlaceCT.org is a free web-based resource designed to help older adults and people with disabilities live at home or in the community with optimal independence, health and wellbeing. This information hub helps you explore your options, make informed decisions and connect with a wide range of services and supports - all in one place. MyPlaceCT.org is sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Social Services.

Does your patron have a question about a personal health or medical concern? Contact Healthnet at 860-679-4055 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) or by e-mail at hnet@uchc.edu.

Healthnet also provides guides for consumers and librarians.

Healthnet is the Connecticut Consumer Health Information Network located at the UCONN Health Center in Farmington, CT.

WebJunction, through a cooperative agreement with IMLS, engaged with state libraries and public libraries to increase the capacity of librarians to help the public with the Affordable Care Act and requests for health information and assistance. Between 2014 and 2016, WebJunction’s Health Happens in Libraries initiative hosted many informative webinars to help libraries support the implementation of the ACA. Librarians and the public are encouraged to sign up for Marketplace emails and alerts on HealthCare.gov.

National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region offers funding to improve access to health information.

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Health and Medical Reference Guidelines

In June 2015, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) released revised Heath and Medical Reference Guidelines, the purpose of which is to assist information services staff in responding to health or medical inquiries. The guidelines describe the role of library staff, recommended professional behavior, and ethics, and link to additional guidelines from other professional associations.

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