Interested in the CHIS Certification? Learn from someone who received it!
Words from Lee Whiting, Assistant Manager, Sandy Branch, Salt Lake County Library
How did you hear about the CHIS Certification?
I learned of the CHIS certification through the Public Library Association’s CHIS training at the 2018 annual PLA pre-conference workshop in Philadelphia, PA. I applied for and received a stipend to attend this workshop.
How has your CHIS Certification helped you in your current role?
I have used what I have learned in the CHIS training to write and obtain an NNLM grant for skin cancer awareness. I have also leveraged our library’s resources by partnering with the local health department to promote health and wellness topics at our library. We participate in annual health events, such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Diabetes Prevention Month (November) and Mental Health Awareness Month (May). We also have improved some of our monographs in our collection in support of some of these initiatives. Having the CHIS has also led to my involvement with other like-minded individuals who are interested in health literacy. I am now a member of the Utah Health Literacy Coalition.
Describe your experience with the CHIS Certification classes
The 1-day pre-conference workshop was a great way to push though this certification. With just a little bit of prep work and then a post-conference assignment, the credential was easy to obtain. I enjoyed meeting other librarians and sharing programming ideas with them.
Any advice for folks looking to earn their CHIS Certification?
I would strongly recommend anyone involved in providing reference or other direct services to public library patrons to obtain this certification. An emphasis on evidence-based resources is invaluable in delivering valid and actionable information to our patrons. I would also encourage participating in face-to-face training if it is offered, as it creates a collaborative learning environment where idea sharing can take place in a social setting.