People are increasingly responsible for making their own health decisions. Health information literacy is recognized as a critical life skill that helps patients and caregivers in making medical and health care decisions. Improving health literacy is a foundational way to work toward achieving health equity. Librarians can help navigate and evaluate health information.
This past March, a broad coalition of Minnesota health organizations released the Minnesota Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy which outlines six priorities with actionable strategies to improve health literacy across the state. Strategies range from improving patient-centered resources to enhancing education opportunities at all levels to investing in language and cultural resources. In the plan, libraries are recognized as places other than healthcare facilities where people go to find reliable health information.
This session will provide an overview of the importance of health literacy to a health community, health literacy initiatives within the State of Minnesota, what resources are available for health information literacy training/workshops sessions for librarians to learn to assist patrons and health advocates with finding quality health information or where to partner for access to expertise/resources and guidelines for choosing trusted web-based health information resources.
Libraries, whether public or academic, are gateways to health information and librarians ar4e recognized as offering the needed support to help deal with health information literacy issues. Communities will enjoy a high quality of health care thanks to health information literate consumers who make good decision based on sound information.