In fact, such a role is recognized in the substantive report by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, "Consumer Health Information Service
in Public Libraries." (10) By partnering with healthcare professionals, librarians can meet this expectation through a variety of means, including outreach programmes, exhibitions of one kind or another, by sponsoring public discussions on health issues, and by using mass media to increase awareness of health information resources.
ClinicalTrials.gov may also be reached through the National Library of Medicine's Web site at http://www.nih.gov and through it consumer health information service
, MEDLINE "plus" at http://www.medlineplus.gov.
Examples from the Consumer Health Information Service
Beginning with a grant from the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Preston Medical Library, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, has provided a free telephone-based consumer health information service
for area citizens and University of Tennessee Medical Center patients and their families since 1989.
In 2000 this author published an article entitled "Starting a Consumer Health Information Service
in a Public Library" (Gillaspy, 2000).
Institutions like the University of Cincinnati, collaborating with Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and other partners, developed "NetWellness," a consumer health information service
delivered via the World Wide Web, offering a large base of medical experts to provide on-line consumer health information (Guard, Haag, Kaya, Marine, Morris, & Schick, 1996).
Consumer Health Information Services
and Programs: Best Practices.
There is no special formula for implementing consumer health information services
or models, but this issue is dedicated to addressing the imperative topic of translating formal and informal research initiatives into practice.
* The State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse will team up with an organization serving older adults to offer consumer health information services
to the senior population in that city and the surrounding six counties.
Sites were chosen based on how applicants addressed the selection criteria and on how well they demonstrated their ability to meet pilot site expectations, including a commitment by their institutions to support consumer health information services
and resources after the pilot ended.
In this issue, part 1--Strategic Strides toward a Better Future--contributors examine the many facets that comprise consumer health information services
. Kristine Alpi and Barbara Bibel address the challenges of meeting the health needs of diverse populations and how libraries play a significant role.
Jones's chapter in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine's online textbook on providing consumer health information services
summarizes the literature on reading levels, with links to useful tools (Jones, 2003).