Jarrod Irwin, Consumer Health Coordinator, NNLM SEA
On September 12, I had the privilege of attending Stand Up for Health, a class taught by my colleague Bobbi Newman in the Greater Midwest Region. I attended as preparation for teaching the class in the Southeastern/Atlantic Region. Stand Up for Health gives an introduction to consumer health, covering topics like finding health information on a variety of topics, handling conversations with library patrons about health questions, and programming ideas related to health and wellness.
To me, the most beneficial part was hearing from everyone about their libraries’ current health programming. The class was invited to write down health-related programs or projects that their libraries have done, then post these on the wall where we were meeting. The wall was covered with dozens of these notes. Besides the excellent program ideas that people shared, it was inspiring to see all the labor and energy that libraries devote to consumer health represented in this way.
This class is also a great professional-development option for public librarians who are interested in health information. By completing this class, you fulfill all requirements for the Level 1 Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) offered by MLA. The Level 1 CHIS shows that you are knowledgeable in competencies that MLA has identified as important to consumer health. NNLM will sponsor your CHIS certificate so you can obtain it at no cost to yourself; see this webpage for information about CHIS sponsorship.
Stand Up for Health is limited to public library staff, but NNLM offers classes that cover similar content for other library staff as well. In particular, Beyond an Apple a Day and Health and Wellness @ the Library can be useful to you.