Posted by Carolyn Martin on October 6th, 2021
Posted in: Consumer Health, Health Literacy, Health Observances, News from NNLM
Tags: community organizations, consumer health, health literacy, libraries
Health Literacy Month began with Helen Osbourne, health literacy consultant, in 1999 to bring awareness of the need to create and provide health information that is understandable by patients and the general public.
Healthy People 2030 updated their definition of health literacy to include both personal and organizational health literacy:
This new definitions:
What can you and your organization or library do to address health literacy?
Highlight MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine’s consumer health information resource, in your library’s newsletters and programs, post links to specific health information on social media, and use MedlinePlus in your reference services. It’s free and includes information from a variety of authoritative sources.
Organize a program highlighting health and wellness and include health information resources such as MedlinePlus, the Medical Library Association’s resources for patients and the public, and additional resources included in the NNLM guide for public libraries. Attendees will appreciate these resources to have handy after the program.
Take classes focusing on consumer health and earn the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) from the Medical Library Association. NNLM classes are free and many are eligible towards CHIS. Currently NNLM will take care of the CHIS application fee for library staff and those involved in health outreach. Taking classes will help keep you current and aware of consumer health topics and resources and increase confidence in providing consumer health information services.
You and your community members may sign up to receive free consumer health information:
Highlight and listen to Helen Osborne’s podcast, Health Literacy Out Loud with episodes pertaining to the public, organizations, and health professionals
Libraries Transform Health Literacy Toolkit, is an easy way to highlight the role of libraries in providing quality health information to help increase their community’s health literacy. Sign up for a free account and you’ll have access to downloadable posters, bookmarks, table tents and more to print and post around the library in October and all year long.
Reading fictional or real-life stories is a great way to discuss health issues and concerns from various perspectives. Host a book discussion with books that include a health topic such as:
Check out additional reads with the NNLM Reading Club.
And to observe both Health Literacy Month and National Medical Librarians Month, NNLM is holding a spine poetry contest!
Individuals can submit up to three time throughout October. Send us your entry on Twitter by tagging @nnlmregion5 and #BookSpinePoetry or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
10 winners will be selected following National Medical Librarians Month and Health Literacy Month (both observed in the month of October). All participants will be entered into a lottery to receive a free copy of each of the books selected from the NNLM Reading Club – a total of 15 books to add to your collection and share with your users! Learn more about it on a previous blog post.
Each week, during the month of October, this NNLM Region 5 blog will include special posts focusing on health literacy. Stay tuned!