Name: Susan Kroll
Education: MLS University of Buffalo
How did you become interested in focusing on Health and Wellness?
Received my BS degree in education for physically handicapped children which sparked my interest in health issues. My previous job was at the Health Sciences Library Ohio State University.
Why is health literacy important in your community?
Our small rural community faced serious health challenges. The more the Library can educate patrons with health information the greater the chances of patient compliance. This is especially important in the winter months when the cold, snowy weather isolates members of the community who then must depend upon themselves to make the right health choices.
What’s different with a health reference interview?
Most patrons approach the reference desk with hesitation knowing they want an answer to a health question but not necessarily prepared to hear the answer. The questions I receive are usually very complex and deal with personal issues. I try to provide some initial immediate information and then do follow up research which I either send electronically or meet with them personally depending on their preference.
What’s the impact that you hope to make in your community?
Over the years I have been fortunate to partner with the health department and local hospital on various programs which I believe adds credibility to the Library’s work. The shared goal is to help patrons make better health choices and understand how to manage their health issues. Since I work part-time, I do in-service programs for the Library staff on identifying quality health information so that knowledgeable librarians are always available.
What is your favorite health-related program or outreach that you’ve done?
The program was titled Vitamins, Supplements and Medicine, Oh My!
Local physicians were concerned about the number of patients that might be taking supplements but not telling their health professionals. There were 2 goals for the workshop: