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Lamar Soutter Library

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Patient Education; Libraries, Medical; Libraries, Hospital; Pediatrics; Child Health Services; Disabled Children; Massachusetts


Library and Information Science


Purpose:To continue the Pediatric Family Resource Library project started in January 2002 with the goal of providing health information to families at the point of care. The current project, funded through a National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region subcontract, will provide formal and informal classes to teach parents to find and use quality health information on the Internet.

Setting:Parents and families who use the Children's Medical Center will have the opportunity to attend a basic Internet class and then a class to locate quality health information. The classes will be held over a one-year period in the library's new computer instruction facilities.

Methodology:Two classes per quarter will be scheduled--one on Internet Basics and one on finding and evaluating health information on the Internet. Child care and free parking will be provided. The project will also provide customized classes for parent groups and community agencies that serve children. Multiple classes are scheduled for the pediatric clinic staff to find quality health information.

Description:A multiple-pronged approach will be used to publicize the classes and services provided by the Pediatric Library. Classes will be didactic and hands on--taught by experienced librarians.

Results:The addition of classes will increase awareness and use of the Children's Medical Center Pediatric Library and offer support and networking opportunities for the parents. This project started on October 1, 2002, and results from the classes are anticipated for MLA '03.

Discussion:Parents are making health care decisions about their children every day and need to be empowered and confident with their skills to find quality health information. Many of the children who are cared for at the Children's Medical Center have lifelong and complicated health problems. Many of these parents have become knowledgeable about how to access the Internet but may lack the critical skills necessary to evaluate the quality of the health information they find. This project will attempt to meet this need.

Evaluation: At the end of each class session, the parents will complete an evaluation form.


Child, Disabled Children, Internet, Patient Education

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.