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ERIC Number: ED415860
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 53
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Provision of Consumer Health Information by Public Librarians in Michigan. Final Report of a Research Project.
Baker, Lynda M.; Spang, Lothar; Gogolowski, Christine; Vizzaccaro, Melissa Rymsza
Public librarians have been providing consumers access to health and medical information for approximately 20 years. Changes in the American health care environment in the 1990s suggest that the role of public librarians in the provision of health and medical information will grow exponentially in the 21st century. This report describes a study of the provision of consumer health information by public librarians in Michigan. A survey was sent to 659 public main and branch libraries in Michigan, eliciting a response rate of 53.5% (n=353). The survey looked at the nature and frequency of health-related questions; who uses the library for health information; the status of consumer health information collections; type of health information services provided; training public librarians possess to respond to health queries; problems experienced by librarians in responding to health questions; and what public librarians feel would help them improve their service effectiveness. The majority of respondents had spent more than 10 years providing health information. The primary method of preparation for fielding health information queries was on-the-job training. Adults and mature adults comprised almost half (49%) of the clientele using public libraries and were the ones who most frequently asked for health information. Respondents performed a variety of health-related functions: reference services, collection development, interlibrary loan, and selection, acquisition, and maintenance of health materials. The most frequent duty was reference service to patrons in the library. More than half the respondents indicated that patrons asked health-related questions often to very often. Appendices include consumer health information questionnaire, accompanying letter, and compilation of sources identified by respondents. (Contains 25 references.) (SWC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan