Preparing Public Librarians for Consumer Health Information Services: A Needs Assessment Study

Presenters’ Names and Affiliations:

Lili Luo, PhD

School of Library and Information Science, San Jose State University


Van Ta Park, PhD

Department of Health Science and Recreation, San Jose State University



Area of the World from Which You Will Present:




Language in Which You Will Present:




Target Audience(s):

Librarians, library educators and other professionals



Short Session Description (one line):

We will report a study that examined how to prepare public librarians for consumer health information service.



Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

A nationwide survey study was conducted to understand how to prepare public librarians for consumer health information service. Three research questions were explored:  1) What are the types of health information needs fulfilled by reference services at public libraries? 2) What are the challenges encountered by public librarians when assisting patrons with health information needs? 3) What are public librarians’ desired content and delivery options of training on providing consumer health information service? Findings of the study will be shared in the presentation.

This study constitutes the basis to establish training requirements and develop training programs to meet the needs of public librarians. Their mastery of the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies via training will lead to the effective and efficient delivery of consumer health information service in public libraries, and ultimately generate optimal patron experience.

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