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Eating the Elephant: The Scope of Health Information Needs in the Public and Where Librarians Fit
    Thursday May 24, 2012 1:30pm - 2:30pm @ Patterson Hall, Room 300

    100% of the population needs health information of some kind – from healthy recipes to how to manage a chronic disease. The rates of chronic diseases are rising, and the pressure to “self-manage” these conditions means good health information is needed more than ever, particularly for Atlantic Canadians, who have a higher incidence of chronic diseases.

    But there are challenges. Health literacy challenges are vast. There is an imbalance in availability of health information – plenty of tools for those best equipped to use them, but little for those who may need them most. There is a chronic underestimation of how much effort and the skill set it takes to manage this information. And we must get past the rhetoric that “knowledge is power” to really understand how people use health information, if they do at all. How can librarians in various practice settings – public, special, academic and hospital – work to help fill a great need? What are the opportunities for partnership and putting forward our strengths as information managers, information literacy specialists and traditional role as advocates for equity in our communities?  This hour long workshop will highlight some of the issues and challenges of this issue based upon my own research, best practice, as well as the experience of colleagues in Nova Scotia. My hope is that we can have a healthy discussion about the possibility of a common approach to supporting our communities with health information provision. There is a promise of follow-up with those interested in continuing the discussion.


    (Moderator: Amanda Horsman)


    Librarian with Annapolis Valley Health, South Shore Health...

    Type Session

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