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Health Information Literacy Fact Sheet

"as many as half of all adults in all socio-economic levels struggle with health literacy"
—Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2003

 

 

 

 

 

As a health educator, you know that. But do you know how to find the best information for the situation? Do your clients know how to find the information that will help them make positive health decisions?

A librarian can be your guide to the best information.

The Medical Library Association (MLA) Health Information Literacy Task Force is aware that many people lack the ability to understand and use the information they need to make good health decisions. MLA is committed to working with others to increase health literacy by fostering among health professionals, educators, and librarians an understanding of the role that health information literacy plays in empowering people to read, understand, and act.

Health information literacy is the set of abilities needed to:

  • recognize a health information need
  • identify likely information sources and use them to retrieve relevant information
  • assess the quality of the information and its applicability to a specific situation
  • analyze, understand, and use the information to make good health decisions

Find out more about health information literacy and how librarians can help you be a more effective care provider and health educator.

Download a printable version of this fact sheet.