Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Heath Sciences Librarians Interest Group

As always, Laurel Egan, from St. James Community Hospital and the leader of our MLA Health Sciences Librarians Interest Group, came up with a stimulating and thought-provoking presentation. Lisa Autio, editor of the Montana Medical Libraries Newsletter, Lisa discussed the survey, which she had a large part in conducting, to discover what part public, school, academic, medical, special (non-medical), and other types of libraries played in educating the public on consumer health issues. Questions included library access to the public and health professionals, presence of a Health Information area with various resources, use of, challenges of providing health information, hosting of training session for health information, and familiarity with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the National Library of Medicine.

Some comments on the survey included:

1. We are a school library, medical health is a priority as it ties into the curriculum only.
2. A growing number of patrons are interested in learning more about their diagnosed health problems and [it's] hard for us to find up to date information--more than superficial info
3. Our hospital has a small library but it does not seem interested in cooperating with us or the other public libraries in the area.
4. Great demand for consumer health information continues--including demand on campuses.
5. We need more help with interpretation of resources.

Surprisingly, only 78 of 134 respondents were aware of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the National Library of Medicine and what they do.

Thank you to Laurel, Lisa, and Heidi for some great information and jump-starting our thoughts on what to do next!


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