Faculty Publications

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Publication Date

October 2013

Publication Title

Library and Information Science Research

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Library and Information Science | Medicine and Health Sciences


A nationwide survey study was conducted to gain understanding as to how to prepare public librarians for consumer health information service. Findings indicate that the popular health information needs encountered by public librarians cover a wide variety of topics, including the human body, a medical/health condition, a disease, a medical concept, and fitness/diet/nutrition. The top two challenges faced by public librarians when providing consumer health information service are difficulty in interpreting patrons' questions and lack of knowledge about available and trusted/appropriate medical/health information sources. Public librarians wish to receive training on a number of topics that could help address the challenges they face, and the most favorable training format for them, among all the options provided in the survey, is the self-paced online tutorial. This study constitutes the basis for establishing training requirements and developing training programs to meet the needs of public librarians. Their mastery of the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies via training will lead to effective and efficient delivery of consumer health information service in public libraries, and ultimately generate optimal patron experiences.


Reprinted from Library and Information Science Research, Vol 35/4, by Luo, L, & Ta Park, V.M., Preparing Public Librarians for Consumer Health Information Service: A Nation-wide Study, 310-317, Copyright 2013, with permission from Elsevier. The published version of the article can be found online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2013.06.002.