214771 Mobile School Health Information Initiative (MoSHI): Creating health information champions among K-12 librarians in St. Louis

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Will Olmstadt, MS, MPH, AHIP , Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Judy Hansen, MLIS, MAEd , Becker Medical Library, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Family Resource Center, St. Louis, MO
Bob Engeszer, MLS , Becker Medical Library, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
BACKGROUND: School health programs routinely emphasize school nurses, counselors, and teachers, while overlooking school librarians as key partners in school health. Many school librarians are solo practitioners, lacking time or training to provide quality health information, while also managing facilities, budgets and helping with writing-intensive classes. PURPOSE: Report on a curriculum training K-12 librarians to connect with credible health information on the web. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS/RESOURCES: Midwestern private medical school and selected community partners. Investigators developed and tested the pilot curriculum in 2009. They obtained external funding to enable the curriculum to be delivered for free throughout the St. Louis metro area. To date, the revised course reached over 50 personnel. EVALUATION METHOD: Logic model used to create evaluations done in class and via 3-month follow up web survey. RESULTS: Evaluations indicate the curriculum successfully equips school librarians to be health information champions within their schools. Participants report increased confidence locating credible health information. They come away with actionable ideas for cross-disciplinary collaboration in the curriculum, seeing how to integrate health information in subjects beyond science. They also gain experience evaluating health messages through the lens of media literacy, now required by Missouri Grade-Level Expectations. Written comments indicate both short-term gains and sustained use of the knowledge after 3 months. RECOMMENDATIONS: Written comments indicate continued need for similar programs. Curricula like MoSHI could be part of multipronged efforts to improve health literacy in schools.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the role K-12 librarians play in providing credible health information in their schools. List at least 2 credible, free health information resources on the web. Assess the results of this project in Missouri to see how to start or enhance similar programs elsewhere.

Keywords: School Health, Health Information

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a principal investigator for this project. I have over 10 years of experience as a health science librarian training health care professionals and the public. I have managed similar funded projects in the past, providing quality health information to patients and family members.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.