on the MLA Teleconference: “Reading Between the Lines: Focusing
on Health Information Literacy” September 10, 2003
by Pam Murnane, Librarian, Lane Medical Library, Stanford University
School of Medicine
One of the Medical Library
Association’s current agendas is promoting health information
literacy. This teleconference presented a working definition of this
relatively new term, reviewed areas of interest related to health information
literacy, and suggested roles and partnerships for librarians to pursue,
complemented with excellent examples of programs already implemented.
While the library profession
has long been interested in information literacy, health information
literacy has been a growing topic of interest over recent years. As
health care has been changing towards shorter office visits and shorter
hospital stays, more of the responsibility for follow up and health
care maintenance has shifted to the patient, requiring a greater understanding
of their own care.
The teleconference panel
included: Sandy Cornett director of the literacy program at Ohio State
University; Neil Rambo, associate director of NNLM, Pacific Northwest
Region; Michele Spatz, director of Planetree Health Resource Center
in The Dalles, Oregon; and Eris Weaver, director of Redwood Health Library,
Petaluma, California. Additional participants presented video snippets
highlighting special programs. Following is a summary of the key issues
raised in the teleconference.
What is Health Literacy?
The commonly found definition
is: “the ability to read, understand, and act on health care information”.
The emphasis is not simply on the ability to read. Additional basic
skills include listening, problem solving, and decision making. Additionally,
patients need the motivation to learn, understand, and manage their
The 1993 National Adult Literacy
Survey (2003 study due to be published soon), which measured "functional
literacy", found that 48% of the population was below 8th grade
reading level. Even the population at higher grade reading levels often
have problems when faced with health information. Informed consent documents
for example, are generally at the 15th grade reading level.
While problems with health
literacy cross social and cultural populations, high risk groups include
elderly, minorities, and individuals with chronic health problems. Individuals
with low health literacy tend to have longer and more frequent hospitalizations,
more doctor visits and more medication failures. The problem persists
partially because low literacy is easy for health care providers to
miss. Some people are embarrassed by it, others don’t recognize
it in themselves.
What is Health Information Literacy
MLA looked at the definitions
of “health literacy” and “information literacy”
to formulate the following working definition of health information
literacy: "The ability to recognize a health information need;
identify likely information sources and use them to retrieve relevant
information; assess the quality of the information and its applicability
to a specific situation; and analyze, understand, and use the information
to make good heath decisions.” MLA will soon be inviting member
comment on this definition. Keep an eye on the website, or join the
listserv referenced at the end of this article.
Partnerships and Opportunities for Librarians
This portion of the program
offered wonderful suggestions and examples of current programs in existence.
Librarians can help promote health information literacy through education,
the creation of health information materials, and through partnerships
in medical education, hospitals, and community organizations.
First and foremost we need
to be sensitive to the needs of low literate individuals seeking health
information. Some suggested tips included: pay attention to cues that
the patron might present, such as stating her “eyes are tired,
could you read this for me?” In addition, we should review our
collections to be sure that we have not only written material at lower
grade reading levels but also audio, video, or other alternative formats
of information. Be sure the computers in the library have audio and
For professionals who are
creating health information materials, there are tools available to
test the reading level manually and automatically. Note that the test
included in MS Office programs generally scores a document lower than
other standard scores. Also, these tests may state the grade level,
but they do not test how clearly the material is written or how well
it is organized. Design and content layout are also important, and highlighting
the key 3-5 “need” to know points can keep the information
simple while providing the essentials.
Most low literate individuals
do not visit libraries, so we also need to consider ways to reach out
to the community. One panelist frequently participates with the local
TV station to provide health information. She also recommended working
with local newspapers and radio stations. In addition to the media,
we need to get creative and offer programs where people naturally congregate.
Some currently successful programs presented as video portions of the
teleconference included: hospital librarians teaching clinicians about
health information literacy, academic librarians teaching medical students
and residents, and public librarians promoting health speakers, classes
on the internet focused on health topics, and acting as a clearinghouse
for flyers announcing local public health information programs in the
area. Many of these partnerships required finding a champion in the
organization to work with and remaining flexible to work with the academic
or clinical agenda.
Keep an eye on the MLA website for additional resources and information
on this topic and note the urls below. At the conference page you can
request a copy of the video or contact the teleconference coordinator
for a copy of the handout. Also consider joining the discussion list
to raise your questions and share your successes.
For more information
MLA Teleconference page:
MLA-HEALTHLIT Email Discussion
Literacy Month Sample Press Release, October 2003
by Kay Hogan
Smith, Coordinator Health InfoNet of Alabama
October is national “Health Literacy Month.” The goal of
this campaign is to raise awareness of the need for plain language health
information. On the forefront of this campaign are the nation’s
medical librarians - October also happens to be National Medical Libraries
Month! Besides serving health professionals and students, medical librarians
work with the general public to help them locate current, reliable health
information for personal use. Many medical libraries in Alabama make
special consumer health collections and services available, such as
Health InfoNet of Alabama (see http://www.healthinfonet.org).
Unfortunately, many health information resources available in print
or on the Internet are written at a much higher reading level than is
easily understood by the average reader. In addition, with a functional
illiteracy rate of 25%*, many Alabamians have difficulty with such basic
health-related tasks as understanding the dosage instructions for a
prescription drug or reading a food label. Obviously, those struggling
with reading problems face many obstacles to taking care of their health.
In fact, studies have shown that these people report worse overall health,
are more likely to be hospitalized, and have poorer understanding and
follow-through of treatment regimens than those with higher reading
The good news is that health professionals, educators, librarians, and
others are beginning to work together to find new ways to get health
information across to those who don’t read well and to help them
feel more comfortable about revealing this difficulty when necessary.
Examples of different approaches include:
- Creating videos or recorded
public service announcements with health messages
- Providing reading services
- Promoting a “shame-free”
environment in doctors’ offices, hospitals and clinics
- Providing expert speakers
for community health discussions
- Promoting “plain
language” in health information (written or spoken)
For more information about
health literacy month see http://www.healthliteracy.com/hlmonth/index.html.
*From the National Institute for Literacy statistics. See http://www.nifl.gov/.
**From the Harvard School of Public Health, Health Literacy Studies
web site at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/.
Guidelines for CAPHIS Connection
1. When you receive a copy
of a book for review, you will also receive a deadline date, usually
about two months after the book is mailed. If you cannot meet this deadline,
please inform the editor immediately.
2. CAPHIS Connection book
reviews should be approximately 250 words (one typed page, double-spaced)
long. They may be shorter. Please e-mail finished reviews to Barbara
Bibel, book review editor- firstname.lastname@example.org-
as Word attachments or copied and pasted into the body of an e-mail
3. The review should convey
a clear sense of the work’s content and scope. Please evaluate the writing
style, accuracy, reading level, etc. It is helpful to compare it to
other works on the same subject. Note the author’s qualifications, credentials,
affiliations, and other published works.
4. Cite the book that you
are reviewing at the head of the article using the following model:
Roan, Sharon L. Our Daughters’
Health: Practical and Invaluable Advice for Raising Confident Girls
Ages Six to Sixteen. Hyperion, 2001. 416p. index. ISBN 0-7868-8500-9.
5. Put your name, name of
your institution, city, and state at the end of the review.
6. Reviewers are responsible
for the accuracy of the statements included. Reviews will be edited
for grammar, length and style.
Lawrence J. & Lora Brown Wilder. Recipes for
Weight Loss. Rebus, 2003. 159 p. index. (The Johns Hopkins
cookbook library). ISBN 0-929661-78-8.
director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, and Wilder,
a dietitian with a Sc.D. in public health, have put together a very
enticing guide to losing weight. The typeface, layout, down-to-earth
language, and superb explanation of how to eat right for weight loss
make an attractive presentation. The discussion of how to cut calories,
reduce fat, and increase complex carbohydrates is concise and easy to
understand. I particularly like the four-page section “Add these
foods to your diet,” which tells what nutrients are in a selection
of low-fat foods and gives hints for cooking to retain the most nutrient
Each recipe includes numbers
of calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, carbohydrates,
protein, and sodium per serving. In addition, a note emphasizes which
vitamins are most prevalent. The presentation of the nutritional information
alone is enough to justify buying the book.
A variety of flavors and
ethnic derivations are included and an attempt is made to substitute
lower calorie ingredients into well known dishes. For example, the recipe
for guacamole uses peas instead of avocado. The diversity definitely
makes losing weight seem more interesting, however many of the spices
may not be on the average kitchen shelf. Another drawback is that most
of the recipes are a bit labor intensive. Half of the ones that appeal
to me require use of a food processor. Nevertheless, there are enough
easy ones that I expect to use when I’m cooking for more than
just me. If I were cooking for Thanksgiving, I would serve spiced Caribbean
pumpkin soup; roast turkey breast with garlic, lemon and basil; sesame
asparagus and snow peas; maple sweet potatoes with cranberries; and
cinnamon-raisin bread pudding. Reviewed by Judith Schaeffer
Young, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.
John A., Wilder, Lora Brown. The Johns Hopkins
Cookbook Library: Recipes for Arthritis Health. Rebus,
2003. 160 pages. ISBN 0-929661-76-1. $19.95.
folks at the John Hopkins publication Website (http://www.hopkinsafter50.com)
promote their cookbook library as texts “that offer delicious,
easy-to-prepare recipes for the home cook” while addressing nutrition
and disease. Recipes for Arthritis Health lives up to this promise.
Readers first encounter a
useful section on nutritional concerns for arthritis. The writers address
nutrition and osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. They also
provide a brief section on weight management, along with useful information
and cooking tips on beneficial foods.
This publication provides
a wide variety of enticing recipes. Along with the usual categories
like meat, breads, and desserts, there is a “meatless” section
that offers many vegetarian and several vegan dishes. Most of the ingredients
I noted are everyday items found at most grocery stores. The authors
designed recipes to minimize chopping of ingredients, to better accommodate
cooks with impaired mobility and fatigue. Most of the recipes’
directions were uncomplicated and could be completed in a reasonable
amount of time, although I did note that a few required a food processor,
while others called for boiling and draining large pots of water. Each
recipe includes per serving nutritional information, such as calories,
fat, and vitamin content.
I found that the book’s overall tone was friendly; scientific
information was presented in a clear, precise manner that would not
put off readers. There is also a useful section in the back on spices
and already prepared foods (such as pizza crusts). Although I am not
an arthritis patient, I want to try some of these recipes at home because
they look so yummy. The authors are well qualified in this field: Flynn
completed a residency and fellowship in rheumatology at John Hopkins
and is currently an associate professor there, while Wilder is a registered
dietitian, and is also at John Hopkins. Reviewed by Liz Workman,
Hope Fox Eccles Clinical Library, Salt Lake City, UT.
Claudia I.; McCarthy, Peggy; Wernick, Sarah. Lung
Cancer: Myths, Facts, Choices—and Hope. W.W, Norton,
2002. 389p. index. ISBN 0-393-04154-9. $27.95.
comprehensive and practical guide is a welcome resource for patients
and families concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and management
of lung cancer. Author Claudia Hennschke Ph.D., M.D., from Cornell Medical
Center, is a recognized expert in the early diagnosis of lung cancer,
a disease that kills more Americans each year than prostate, colon,
and breast cancer combined. She and cancer patient advocate, Peggy McCarthy
of the Alliance for Lung Cancer Advocacy, Support and Education (ALCASE),
and freelance health writer Sarah Wernick, have combined their talents
to produce an authoritative, yet highly readable account of the myths
as well as the facts surrounding this deadly disease.
Lung cancer victims have
only a very low 5-year survival rate, possibly because the disease is
largely symptomless at an early stage when it is most curable. One controversial
component of this book is Henschke’s recommendation that CT scans
be used for screening those at high risk for lung cancer (i.e., former
or current smokers). Though early screening may be beneficial, to date,
there are no studies that consistently demonstrate improved mortality
rates for patients who undergo screening for lung cancer using any currently
available screening tool. The authors do discuss many advances in the
treatment of lung cancer but also address important emotional issues
such as the guilt and stigma felt by smokers (and ex-smokers). The book
includes valuable advice about alternative therapies, new measures to
relieve pain, and recommendations for patients who want to access the
latest treatments through clinical trials. Reviewed by Kelly
Near, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia,
Simeon and Lora B. Wilder, eds. Recipes for a Healthy
Heart. (The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library), Rebus, 2003.
159p. index. ISBN 0-929661-77-X. $19.95.
nutritional analysis and kitchen tips enliven the 140 recipes in this
cookbook. Edited by a professor of medicine and a registered dietician
and nutritionist from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, this book
contains information on “eating for heart health”, lists
of foods to add to your diet, and lists of the leading sources of important
nutrients in addition to the interesting and delicious recipes.
Recipes range from healthy
versions of standard fare like Heart-Smart Meatloaf, Mac & Cheese
Turkey Tetrazzini, and Pork & Beans to some ethnic recipes like
Chicken & Corn Tortilla Soup, Colcannon, Vegetable Curry, and Tandoori
Salmon. Most of the cooking techniques are simple and use standard cooking
utensils. Recipes usually involve only three to four steps and provide
There is an emphasis on fresh
ingredients, although a section called “Off-the-Shelf” under
each category takes advantage of canned, packaged and frozen foods to
prepare healthy recipes. Marginal notes add serving suggestions and
explanations of unusual ingredients with possible substitutes. The recipe
index is very useful. No photos or illustrations of the recipes are
included but the typeface is large and clear and the layout with one
recipe per page is attractive.
This cookbook is not as comprehensive
as the New American Heart Association Cookbook
(Random House, trade paperback ed., 2001, 720 p. ISBN 0-609-80890-7,
$19.95) which remains one of the first purchases in this area. It would
make a nice addition to a consumer health or public library which wishes
to enrich their diet and cookbook collection. Reviewed by Joy
Kennedy, Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Musa. After Breast Cancer: Answers to the Questions
You’re Afraid to Ask. O’Reilly & Associates,
2003. xv, 196 p. index. ISBN 0-596-50783-6. $14.95
Breast Cancer complements Musa Mayer’s earlier book
Advanced Breast Cancer; a Guide to Living with Metastatic
Disease (1998), which included substantial medical information.
The present title deals frankly with the ambiguities of living before/if/after
recurrence occurs. There are no diagrams, no explanation of cancer types
or staging, and no specific information on cancer therapies. This encouraging
book by a counselor and breast cancer survivor is for the more than
two million women who have already been there, done that, and are establishing
the “new normal” in their lives.
Several chapters discuss
coming to terms with uncertainties of life after breast cancer, life
changes, and persistent fears, including fear of finishing treatment.
Mayer includes personal comments from many with experience. Their insights
are uplifting, showing survivors that they are not alone and offering
many ways to cope. Comments are often piercing and wry, such as that
from a woman who confesses, “My fear of dying has a lot of performance
anxiety in it.”
Two chapters discuss statistics
of recurrence, specificity and sensitivity of tests, the rationale behind
follow-up visit schedules, and imprecision of survival statistics. Women
are urged to trust their bodies since they, rather than physicians,
are usually the first to notice new symptoms. Mayer believes it is liberating
to understand the facts and let go of fear. Final chapters, again with
many personal examples, emphasize the importance of relationships (including
online buddies) and offer more coping skills and philosophies.
This book is so well written
that I read it all in one evening. Text is at high school level, with
statistical information being most complex. Appendices include a resource
section listing cancer-related organizations and support groups, footnotes
of recent medical articles, and an index. Recommended for cancer patients,
all public and health libraries, and all who know any of the millions
who have or have had breast cancer. Reviewed by Nancy Crossfield,
Saint Agnes Medical Library, Fresno, CA.
Jack. Anal pleasure & health: a guide for men
and women. 3rd edition. San Francisco: Down There Press,
1998. 275 p. ISBN 0-940208-20-2. $18.00.
Despite stereotypes that
associate it with male homosexuality, the truth is that anal sex is
enjoyed by men and women of all sexual orientations. Dr. Morin's well-researched
and readable text answers every conceivable question about the practical
health and safety issues involved. Also included is a brief look at
the social, historical, and cultural factors surrounding the "anal
taboo." As a psychologist, he supplements anatomical and medical
information with an exploration of the psychological barriers that many
people have about exploring this part of the body. He constantly reassures
the reader that whatever their experiences or desires may be around
anal eroticism are OK and offers many suggestions for clear communication
and boundaries between partners. The book includes many quotes and stories
from patients of various genders and persuasions.
The book's recommended program
of visualization, relaxation, diet, and self-touch is not only appropriate
for those who are interested in anal eroticism but is helpful for anyone
with anal disorders such as hemorrhoids, constipation, or irritable
bowel syndrome. Of course there is a good-sized chapter on sexually
transmitted diseases and how to avoid them. A lengthy bibliography and
thorough index are included. Highly recommended - there is really no
other book out there quite like this! Reviewed by Eris Weaver,
Redwood Health Library, Petaluma, CA.
Charles. Health Care without Shame: A Handbook
for the Sexually Diverse and their Caregivers. San Francisco:
Greenery Press, 1999. 120 p. ISBN 0-890159-12-3. $11.95.
against lesbian, gay, or transgender people is still rampant in much
of the United States, including within the health care system. Many
folks debate whether to disclose their sexual orientation to their health
care providers; whether they do or don't, they may receive substandard
care due to either homophobia or a lack of information and understanding.
People who engage in sexual
practices or decorations that may be outside what is assumed to the
norm - role playing, bondage, sadomasochism, piercings and tattoos,
even anal sex - often have questions about how to perform them safely,
or how these practices may interact with other health issues. They may
justifiably shy away from asking their physicians, fearing that they
may not only not get their questions answered but may receive poor treatment
for other health concerns. Worse, they end up with no doctor at all.
Charles Moser is a physician
and board-certified sexologist with a practice in San Francisco. Health
Care without Shame was written with two audiences in mind: sexually
diverse patients and the health care providers who serve them. Most
physicians get little or no training in dealing with sexuality issues,
and may be uncomfortable or uninformed about discussing the health implications
of various sexual practices. Dr. Moser offers advice on how to choose
a physician with whom you feel comfortable; when, how, and what to reveal
about one's sexual practices; how to ask the right questions to get
the answers needed; patients' rights. He also educates health care providers
on how to ask appropriate questions about sexuality issues, where to
go to get more information, and how to treat sexually diverse patients
Moser covers these issues
in a very matter-of-fact manner, including many stories drawn from his
own practice. I highly recommend this title for any collection that
includes information on sexual health. Reviewed by Eris Weaver,
Redwood Health Library, Petaluma, CA.
Stewart, Elizabeth G. and
Paula Spencer. The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide
to Complete Vulvovaginal Health. Bantam, 2002. 455 p.,
index. ISBN 0-553-38114-8. $13.95.
V book is the first comprehensive book for laypeople about
the vulvovaginal area, its anatomy, disorders, and even psychology (the
first chapter is entitled “The Mind”). The overall tone
is unusually positive and open: about normal anatomy, symptoms and when
to seek help, sexuality, and the V area’s relationship to women’s
lives and wellness.
Yet this is not an activist
book—just a long-overdue, factual, user-friendly, and well-written
look at vulvovaginal health. Sidebars are copious: quotes from literature
and from women, interesting facts (“V-notes”), charts, common
myths, and questions/answers. Black-and-white drawings and photos are
used sparingly. Throughout, the authors emphasize open communication
with healthcare professionals.
Topics covered in this book
(many not found, or poorly covered, elsewhere) include: vaginal discharge,
daily hygiene, STD’s, menstruation, vulvodynia and vestibulodynia,
vulvar cancer, painful intercourse, pelvic exams, allergies affecting
the V area, and related disorders such as urinary tract infections.
While The V book has a sex-positive tone and a chapter entitled “Sex
Matters”, it is not primarily about sexuality or sexual dysfunction—for
good recent books on this topic, see Jennifer and Laura Berman’s
For women only or Sallie Foley’s Sex
matters for women. The V book also does not address genital
prolapse or incontinence, current hot topics in women’s health
(see Magnus Murphy and Carol Wasson’s new Pelvic health
The V book
is highly recommended for consumer health and public libraries. The
authors ably address the dearth of information on this most personal
area of women’s bodies. Reviewed by Jennifer Friedman,
MLS, CHIS, Consumer Health Librarian, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center,
La Crosse, WI.
The Wellness Kitchen: Bringing the
Latest Nutrition Information to your Table / by the Staff
of the Wellness Kitchen and the Editors of the University of California
at Berkeley Wellness Letter. Rebus, 2003. 320 p. index. ISBN 0-929661-80-x
The health, nutrition and exercise experts from the UC Berkeley School
of Public Health are known for their “Wellness Letter”.
Their Wellness Kitchen is basically a cookbook
with a Web-like style. It’s hard to get used to the graphics –
250 pages of recipes printed in bright green and orange and blurred
photos of raw ingredients. The book promises to promote health by introducing
a variety of whole foods, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, grains and
fish, and limiting cooking methods (no deep-fried foods or boiled vegetables).
Nothing new, but the recipes do an admirable job of acquainting readers
to many nutritious (albeit potentially hard-to-find) foods. For example,
quinoa corn salad includes enoki mushrooms and pumpkin seeds. Where
the book shines is its “Recipe Creators” – unlimited
combinations for smoothies, fruit muffins, bean dips, and more. As a
cookbook, it is fun and lighthearted, with interesting “did you
know” tidbits, but as a nutrition guide it falls short. Not much
research is presented, other than a few references to the American Heart
Association and an unnamed NEJM study, and there isn’t even a
picture of the food pyramid. There are appendices for foods, phytochemicals
and RDAs, but none on vitamins and minerals. Surprisingly, the editors
do not seem concerned about sodium; many recipes contain up to a teaspoon
of salt and over 800 mg sodium. While The Wellness Kitchen
may inspire Americans to eat their veggies, for a solid nutrition guide
and cookbook combo, a better selection would be Mayo Clinic/UCLA’s
2001 Encyclopedia of Foods. Reviewed
by Cara Helfner, MSLIS, Program Manager, Kessler Health Education Library,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA.
Cathy. The Good Vibrations Guide: The G-Spot.
San Francisco: Down There Press, 1998. 63 p. ISBN 0-940208-23-7. $7.00.
two weeks before I received this title to review, a gentleman came into
my library with a question about female ejaculation. He'd seen this
phenomenon in erotic stories and videos, and was keen to find medical
and anatomical information on it. None of the gynecology or sexuality
references in my collection provided any help at all. How I wish I'd
had this book on hand!
This slim and inexpensive
volume discusses a part of the female genital anatomy variously referred
to as the G-spot, Grafenberg spot, urethral sponge, or female prostate.
While important in female sexual response, it has been ignored in much
of the medical literature. Winks speculates as to the reasons for this
lack and briefly covers the history of the G-spot as discussed in both
western and non-western literature.
While Winks accurately explains
the anatomy and functioning of this organ, her main focus is on the
experiences of contemporary women and their quotes are liberally sprinkled
throughout. She writes in a humorous, slightly flippant, do-it-yourself
sort of tone. It is well-referenced and its resource lists include educational
and erotic videos, websites on sexuality, and catalogs that sell sex
toys and literature.
Those interested in purchasing
a book on this topic that doesn't look like it came from a sex toy store
should consider Rebecca Chalker's The clitoral truth: the
secret world at your fingertips. (New York: Seven Stories
Press, 2000. 256 p. ISBN 1-58322-038-0. $19.95.) It covers the same
territory but in greater depth, including more extensive references,
an index, and a glossary. I recommend both titles. Reviewed
by Eris Weaver, Redwood Health Library, Petaluma, CA.
CAPHIS Goals for 2003-2004
by Naomi C. Broering, Chair
The goals for CAPHIS during
2003 – 2004 are tremendously ambitious, but immensely exciting.
We look to MLA to further our national cause in advocating for our profession
and our role in delivering quality information. We will work toward
supporting MLA’s goals as outlined by President, Patricia L. Thibodeau.
However, during the CAPHIS business meeting we discussed several specific
goals and activities, outlined below, which our section plans for the
Many activities that began
in previous years under the able leadership of Past- Chairs will continue,
because they are long-range projects and continuing commitments of CAPHIS.
Strategic Goals 2003/4
- Nominations of
Officers and Committee Chairs: As immediate past-chair, Lucy Thomas,
will chair the Nominating Committee and will submit nominees to CAPHIS
for the 2004 election of officers and committee chairs.
- Nominees for officers
for 2004 include: Chair-elect
- Nominees for Committee
Chairs will be determined based on established terms of office
(Organizational structure is under development and clarification
of terms of past offices and chairs is underway).
- Nominee to the MLA
Nominations Committee: A nominee will be submitted to MLA
- Information Technology:
There are three major Information Technology activities.
- The CAPHIS
Website Committee Chaired by Michele Spatz, past CAPHIS
chair 2001, who also is the MLA representative on URAC, (Health
Website Accreditation Committee) and a member at large on the
Top 100 Website Committee. The purpose of the CAPHIS website committee
is to oversee the CAPHIS website content and development. The
CAPHIS website committee will look at enhancement of functionality
and site design of the CAPHIS website in 2003/04. The CAPHIS website
committee members for 2003/2004 are: Dolores Judkins, Andrea Kenyon
and Rama Vishwanatham.
The CAPHIS Top
100 Health Websites Committee will continue to keep up
with the latest developments in reviewing and selecting appropriate
websites and will maintain a timely CAPHIS top 100 website. Under
the leadership of Rosalind Dudden, chair, the Top 100 Health Websites
Committee will continue to provide update to links and implement
changes as needed. The committee will work with the CAPHIS website
- A Database
Facilitator, Stephanie Weldon was appointed to the
CAPHIS website committee during the MLA 2003 CAPHIS Executive
Board meeting. She will facilitate development of an index
to a searchable database of CAPHIS Discussion List topics
so members can easily retrieve them.
The CAPHIS Discussion
List contains useful information that would benefit from
formal indexing and the ability to retrieve it from a database.
Stephanie Weldon, NN/LM, approached CAPHIS and offered to
develop this project. Funding from NN/LM resources will
be used for establishing the database.
- The CAPHIS
Webmaster, Kay Hogan-Smith, maintains the CAPHIS website,
by updating the Section’s Directory, Officers, Reports Publications,
Membership and CE Opportunities. The CAPHIS website committee,
chaired by Michele Spatz, works closely with the webmaster.
There are four major groups involved in communications work: the Communications
Committee, established to promote CAPHIS projects and activities,
the Consumer Connections Newsletter Editors, the Governmental Relations
representative and the CAPHIS Webmaster, and the History project representative.
Communicating more effectively with the membership is a priority for
CAPHIS. Each of these representatives writes or solicits news articles
and report announcements for MLA and CAPHIS news.
- The Communications
Committee, chaired by Bill Smith, plans
to submit articles to the MLA News as appropriate publicizing
the work of consumer health librarians and CAPHIS.
- The Consumer
Connections editors, Howard Fuller and Nancy Dickenson,
plan timely releases oh the monthly newsletter and is seeking
a stable environment and robust software for the newsletter. Also
under discussion are the prospects of placing ads.
- The Governmental
Relations Representative, Kay Hogan-Smith, submits legislative
information to the Discussion List regularly and plans to submit
news pertinent to consumer health librarians to Consumer Connections
- The History
Project maintains information of historical significance
to CAPHIS. Michele Spatz, former CAPHIS chair,
leads the History project. She plans to write a report that we
anticipate will be submitted to the MLA News and Consumer connections.
- Membership: Plans
are to develop a program to promote membership involvement and invite
new members to join CAPHIS.
- The Membership
Committee, chaired by Deborah Batey will develop strategies
for involving members in CAPHIS committee work; identify members
who attend local meetings to distribute membership brochures and
speak to groups about benefits of joining CAPHIS.
- Plans are
underway to host a Membership Reception during MLA 2004
to encourage camaraderie among the members, to welcome new members,
their associates and students.
- CAPHIS members
attending Library Association conferences will be encouraged to
distribute the CAPHIS brochures.
Infrastructure: CAPHIS has been reviewing its structure with
a goal of organizing standing and ad hoc committees, task forces,
and informal groups in a more cohesive manner.
- Working with the Executive
Committee, Bylaws Committee and the Webmaster, the CAPHIS Chair,
Naomi Broering, is reviewing appointments so we have records of
member terms of office.
- As corrections are
made, they will be posted on the Website.
- Charge of committees
need to be identified and also posted on the Website.
- Program: A lively
program is planned for MLA 2004 by Eris Weaver, chair elect.
She is doing an impressive job of identifying topics and potential
speakers. Plans include the following three sessions, two Paper presentation
sessions and one speaker panel session.
- Paper Presentation
to the Patient: Health Literacy”
of Collaboration: (Consumer Health on a Shoe String)”
- Panel Session
in the Trenches”
- Continuing Education:
As in the past, CAPHIS will work on MLA Continuing Education Programs
- CAPHIS Members, Naomi
Broering, Chair, Eris Weaver, Chair elect, Kristine ALpi, Heidi
Sandstrom, members and others are working vigorously on planning
the upcoming Satellite Teleconference on Health Information Literacy.
- Naomi Broering and
Kristine ALpi are contributing ideas and speaker names for the
program. They recommended Eris Weaver and other outstanding speakers
that are being invited to participate in the taping to be conducted
in Chicago on September 10, 2003.
- The Teleconference
has been posted on the Discussion List and will be announced in
Consumer Connections. Members are encouraged to find a site where
they can take the class or help host a program.
This summarizes the work ahead for the CAPHIS membership in 2003/4.
It promises to be an exciting and challenging year. We welcome everyone’s
ideas and suggestions during the year to make CAPHIS work well for our
members. Thank you.
Naomi C. Broering, MLS, MA, AHIP
(ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer
and Patient Information Section of the Medical LibraryAssociation and
is published quarterly.
Content for each issue is
cumulated online at http://caphis.mlanet.org/newsletter,
primarily during the first two months of the quarter; the issue is considered
complete at the end of the quarter. Notification of publication is sent
quarterly via the CAPHIS listserv. Newsletter articles and book reviews
are copyrighted; please contact the editor for reprint permission.
Please submit items for Consumer
Connections during the third quarter for publication in the following
Please send submissions in
electronic format to the editors:
E -mail: email@example.com
Telephone: (650) 725-3308
E -mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: (650) 725-8100
FAX: (650) 725-1444