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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 (http://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

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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