Today, we kicked off a new program, “Libraries, Literacy, and the Pursuit of Healthiness: A Western New York Health Information Literacy Project”! WNYLRC recently received a $16,000 NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR) for enhancing health information literacy skills among librarians in the region who, in turn, will utilize these skills in providing quality health information access services and outreach programs to the public in the six-county region of Western New York.
We are so excited for this program! Currently, we have 29 librarians participating. They represent 27 libraries across Western New York, including public, academic, school, and special libraries. Each librarian will complete free online courses that address different aspects of consumer health and health literacy. After completing enough courses, they will receive a certificate designating them as a Consumer Health Information Specializatist (CHIS) free of charge. This designation, from the Medical Library Association (MLA), demonstrates the librarian’s well-rounded knowledge pertaining to consumer health information.
While earning their CHIS certification, each librarian’s library will receive $350 of NNLM grant funds to design and implement programming specific to the health information needs of their community. The program goal is to improve health information literacy and access to different population groups in the region, from seniors to teens and children in both rural and urban areas where access to these kinds of resources may be a challenge.
Helping us kick off the program were Senator Rob Ortt (District 62), Assembly Member Sean Ryan (District 149), and Leah Halton-Pope, Senior Advisor to Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (District 141).