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The “Human Touch” in NN/LM Partnership Express Training Projects

Posted by on April 22nd, 2013 Posted in: All Posts

by Dr. Mary Howrey, Director of Library Services, DeVry University South Florida Library, Miramar, FL

How do you measure the impact of an Express Training Project? It’s through the relationships you build with your colleagues and the people served both during and after your training project. The “human touch” is easily measured by the training materials (i.e., artifacts) you create as part of the training journey and the lives you touch with professional knowledge, care, and concern.

From January 31, 2013 through March 23, 2013, DeVry University South Florida, University Library was the lead partner in an Express Training Project titled, “Healthy Aging Resources on the Web for Seniors and Caregivers.”  The project name was bestowed upon our partnership by Judy Sullivan, president of the Friends of the Miramar Library, at their October 2012 Board meeting. The responses of the Friends Board to the training project and the Miramar Branch Library Adult Services Department were so positive and encouraging, that Dr. Mary Howrey agreed to submit an Express Training Award application to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern Atlantic Region.  DeVry University has been a member of the NN/LM SE/A Region since February 2011, qualifying them for this funding opportunity. The Express Training Award application was submitted the first week of December, and the award e-mail confirmation from Dale Prince, Executive Director, was received by DeVry on December 18.

The Healthy Aging Resources on the Web for Seniors and Caregivers training series offered to health science librarians, seniors, and caregivers in Southeast Florida included:

  • Two “Train the Trainer” sessions for librarians from Miramar Branch Library, Broward County Library System, the SEFLIN Consortium, and the Miami Health Science Library Association (11 library professionals attended) on January 31 and February 5,
  • A Healthy Aging Expo and Workshop was held on Saturday, February 9, 2013 from noon – 4p.m. 35 seniors and caregivers attended the workshop plus more than 60 visitors to the Expo with 12 exhibitors from local hospitals (Memorial Healthcare System and Baptist Health), the Broward Aging and Disability Resource Center (our Area Agency on Aging), the Southwest Focal Point Senior Center, several insurance providers, and home health care agencies,
  • Two hands-on PC training sessions (15 students attended) covering the free National Library of Medicine and NIH consumer health online services (Medline Plus, NIH Senior Health,, and the Eldercare Locator databases) were offered on Saturday, February 23, 2013 and March 9, 2013.

The training series was built from an MLA Clearinghouse curriculum, Healthy Aging at Your Library: Connecting Older Adults to Health Information using PowerPoint Presentations (PPTS) by Karen Vargas and Kelli Hamm, both Consumer Health Coordinators serving other regions of the NN/LM. Three of the PPTs were adapted for our Healthy Aging Resources on the Web for Seniors and Caregivers training series to include local resources for Broward County, the State of Florida, in addition to the national NLM/NIH consumer health databases. The training series handouts and PPTs will be made available in the MLA Clearinghouse in the near future.

The project resulted in significant long-term gains for the NN/LM SE/A Region, Friends, Miramar Branch Library, and DeVry University South Florida Library in reaching seniors and caregivers in southwest Broward County. These gains include: free community service ad space in the Century Village retirement community’s COOPPA Guardian monthly newsletter for the Friends of the Miramar Library (a newsletter that is distributed to the 12,000 residents of this senior residential community), a budding relationship with the Broward Aging and Disability Resource Center (Area Agency on Aging), a contact list of healthcare and aging network providers for future programming, and an invitation to Dr. Mary Howrey from the Century Village Computer Club to present a lecture/demonstration introducing “Healthy Aging Resources on the Web” to a potential audience of 125 Century Village residents on May 20, 2013.  DeVry University South Florida Library also received several health reference questions from seniors and caregivers who attended the two PC training sessions, wanting to locate area physicians to treat challenging medical conditions they faced.

The “human touch” of our training project is reflected in a Vimeo production, which shows all the librarians, healthcare and aging network professionals, exhibitors, seniors and caregivers in attendance on February 9, 2013.

Videographer Diana Cristina Godshall creatively recorded and edited the presentations and activities that day, and produced a 4:40 minute video of the highlights of the four-hour Expo and Workshop. With an instrumental version of “When I’m Sixty-Four” by the Beatles playing in the background, you can experience part of the learning and excitement that occurred at the Healthy Aging Resources on the Web Expo and Workshop. The MP4 video file will also be uploaded to You Tube for broader access by healthcare and aging network professionals, seniors, and caregivers.

Our partners encourage you to consider outreach to an underserved population in your community by identifying their health information needs, locating friendly community partners, jointly planning the project goals and training opportunities to be offered, and applying for an NN/LM SE/A Express Training Award. Your library will experience increased visibility and good will when you work to improve the health literacy and health status of underserved populations in your local community. Our DeVry University motto says it all—“Doing Well, By Doing Good.”

Consider applying for an Express Training Award in FY 2014!

Dr. Mary Howrey, Ed.D., MALS, MS Sociology
DeVry University South Florida Library
Miramar, FL
Phone: 954-499-9851

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004C with the University of Maryland Baltimore.

Healthy Aging Resources on the Web PC Training Class
Miramar Florida Branch Library
February 23, 2013

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