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Health Information For Librarians


This guide is intended to not only equip librarians with health information they can use to assist their patrons, but to also provide librarians with the skills necessary to answer health information questions. 

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The Health Reference Interview

Patrons can be reluctant to ask personal health questions. You can encourage them by:

  • Providing a personal, private space in which to have the conversation.
  • Assuring patrons their conversation with you is confidential due to your ethical and professional responsibilities as a librarian.
  • Drawing out the patron by asking questions: What information have they already found?
    Which resources have they consulted?
  • Reminding your patron of the risks of relying on Google for all their answers.

For further guidance on the health reference interview please read these guidelines from the American Library Association's division for Reference and User Services (RUSA). Additional trainings are available through the National Library of Medicine.

General Health
Nutrition and Fitness
Drugs, Supplements, and Herbal Medicine
Vermont Resources
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