Archive for December 2012



… to cough, sneeze, and be bedridden for a week. Yes, it’s flu season again- make sure your hand sanitizers are fully stocked in the library!  For the past week I’ve been fighting off the relentless flu bug, and it got me thinking that a health-related post was just what the doctor ordered 😉

So, what do you do when a patron requires information on their own health concern? Here are a few tips and resources:

  • First of all never, ever offer health advice. That’s a big no-no. I would assume that’s a given, but you never know…
  • Be very sensitive when probing for more information. I know you need information to conduct a proper reference interview, but too much questioning may scare the patron off.
  • It’s a good idea to have a list of local walk-in clinics and hospitals handy.
  • When looking for reliable health information online, check  that the page is HONcode Certified. The Health on the Net Foundation created the HON Code of Conduct for medical and health websites. Certified websites are guaranteed to be authoritative, complementary (not intended to replace medical treatment/advice), justifiable, and transparent (author of website is easy to contact.) In addition, these websites respect the privacy of viewers, properly cite the source of published information, disclose financial sources, and clearly distinguish advertising from editorial content.
  • Medline Plus is a great resource, produced by the National Library of Medicine. Their medical dictionary can come in handy when a patron is unfamiliar with a medical term.
  • PubMed Central if you need more scholarly (less consumer health) information
  • HealthLink BC and Public Health Agency of Canada Health Promotion for my fellow Canadians
  • Mental health issue? Direct your patron to the National Institute of Mental Health website, or even better, my own LibGuide 😉

Be well!


… and aren’t books just the best presents of all 😛

Here are some resources if you’re choosing a book as a gift this Christmas:

And of course, my top five books of 2012:

  1. Room by Emma Donoghue
  2. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
  3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  4. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  5. The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty