“The ACRL states that information literacy (IL) is the ability to locate, evaluate and use information effectively. Its principles are widely encouraged in academic libraries in North America so that librarians can design effective information literacy programs for their users. Many academic libraries have made commitments to IL through the strategic planning process, and design of programs. The MLA – Medical Library Association (U.S.) initiated its own information literacy taskforce in 2003.
Broadly speaking, health librarians strive to support clinical and research activity in health care organizations. We provide library assistance to academic communities (ie. how to find books, connect to online resources) and when library workshops are required for programs and faculties (ie. how to find/use/evaluate information to support learning and research). Students in health libraries learn some of these skills from professional librarians at reference desks and via librarian-led workshops of various kinds. Increasingly, certain library skills are also self-taught through self-pacing web-based library audio and video tutorials.
In many health disciplines, health workers are required to develop critical thinking and evidence-based skills in order to use information sources effectively. As required, health librarians provide assistance to medical, nursing and pharmacy students (as well as students in other health disciplines) in library workshops, at physical and digital reference desks and by using web 2.0 (media literacy) technologies to meet IL learning objectives. In consultation with users groups, health librarians determine the kind of workshops required to support health programs and determine best practices through various quantitative and qualitative methods, and curriculum analysis. (See curriculum mapping)”
1. ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
2. Medical Library Association. MLANET: Health information literacy task force. http://www.mlanet.org/resources/healthlit/tfhil_info.html