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Region 5 Blog December 3rd, 2021
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Health Literacy Month: Digital Literacy

Posted by on October 20th, 2021 Posted in: Blog, Digital Health Literacy, Health Literacy
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Today, for Health Literacy Month, we are focusing on digital literacy.

The World Health Organization defines digital health literacy as “the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem.”

The current global pandemic has heightened our reliance on digital communications – think telehealth, education, commerce, social connections – and has brought the digital divide into sharp focus. A 2019 survey found more than 21 million people in the United States still lack internet access. That includes 27 percent of rural Americans (nearly three in ten) as well as 2 percent of city dwellers and 44 percent of adults living in households with incomes below $30,000 (Winslow, 2019).

Libraries play a crucial role in communities by bridging that digital divide, from loaning hot spots and digital devices to offering both assistance and formal instruction in using digital technology to “seek, find, understand and appraise….knowledge.”

To help, NNLM has partnered with Wisconsin Health Literacy to offer digital health literacy skill-building resources. Interested in teaching or offering digital health literacy instruction? Try the Digital Health Literacy Curriculum. Want to link to short, instructional videos in both English and Spanish to support community members’ digital literacy skills development? Check out the Learn Internet Skills Online: Free Online Learning ModulesAnd lastly, a downloadable poster, Detecting Reliable Health Information Online.

Winslow, J. (2019, July 26). America’s digital divide. The Pew Charitable Trusts. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/trust/archive/summer-2019/americas-digital-divide

Image of the author ABOUT Michele Spatz
Michele is the NNLM Region 5 Outreach and Engagement Coordinator. She has extensive experience providing consumer health information and a passion for health literacy. Michele truly believes, "Because of you, Libraries Transform.®"

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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