230109 Access to licensed literature for public health practitioners: A survey of U.S. programs

Monday, November 8, 2010

Katie Vizenor, MLS, MA , Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Claire J. Twose, MLIS , Welch Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Kathleen Burr Oliver, MPH, MLS , NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY
Nancy Roderer, MLS , Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Public health practitioners and other health care providers not affiliated with academic entities often do not have adequate access to the evidence found in licensed literature. Developing a feasible infrastructure to provide these materials can improve the quality of public health initiatives. Objective/Purpose:

This presentation will relate the results of a 2008-2009 study entitled Current state of access to the licensed, professional literature for public health professionals across the country. This study collected information about the access to licensed information resources (journals, databases, books and articles) available to public health practitioners, defined for this study as employees of state and local health departments, for each of the 50 states.


Methods included surveying and interviewing: NNLM regional libraries, state libraries, medical library leadership and Area Health Education Center (AHEC) leaders, and performing internet searches for Area Health Education and library projects.


We found that many different types of programs and initiatives exist across the country. Moreover, many programs that provide germane and timely public health licensed literature are underutilized due to an absence in promotion and training. Discussion/Conclusions:

There are multiple solutions to this information access problem that can be tailored to each state's current library and public health outreach programs, thus maximizing use while minimizing additional cost. These findings will inform a future study of valid and appropriate access models that could be tested to address gaps where they exist. Findings are presented by state in a web-based format.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, the participant will: 1. Understand the importance of access to licensed public health literature, 2. Be able to name several examples of successful programs, 3. Be able to successfully locate and promote programs and initiatives in their area.

Keywords: Access and Services, Internet Tools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a member of the project team, leading the development of the study design and successfully preparing the application for funding.
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.