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Communications Students

The Priddy Library had the pleasure of working with Robert Coleman’s communication students again. Not only did they design an updated technology brochure but assisted us with our late night hours renaming campaign. 

Launched in fall 2013, these semester-long virtual internships allow students to work for the world’s largest biomedical library (National Library of Medicine) while also fitting in their other classes and work and family obligations. The main goals of the program are to:


  • foster the development of future health information professionals

  • provide students with real-world experiences in the field of health librarianship and health informatics

  • develop leadership and project management skills in students 


The internships are open to all USG students and the projects students work on span NLM’s research and development initiatives, social media outreach and historical collections. Two students participated in the 2013 fall semester and three participated in the spring 2014 semester.

NLM Virtual Internships

Given this environment, the Health Info Partners program was developed to provide tailored information and training to public librarians, which enables them to develop and implement consumer health information programs in their institutions.


Using curriculum developed by staff from NLM’s National Network of Libraries of Medicine, the Health and Life Sciences Librarian delivered three workshops to public librarians. The first workshop, Beyond an Apple a Day: Providing Consumer Health Information at Your Library, was presented to adult services librarians from Montgomery County Public Libraries in November 2013. The workshop explored the important role libraries and librarians can play in promoting health literacy, the plethora of online health-related websites that can be used with patrons and tips on conducting a health-related reference interview.


Health Info Partners

The two other workshop sessions occurred at the State Library Resource Center’s annual conference, which is attended by public library staff from across Maryland. The first session was Beyond an Apple a Day, and the second session, Will Duct Tape Cure My Warts? Examining Complementary and Alternative Medicine, focused on an area of growing interest in the United States. Participants learned about the history of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and its impact on medical practices. They then looked at the different ways CAM is used, how to avoid “bad science” when searching for information on different CAM treatments, and how to look up evidence of the effectiveness of CAM therapies. Several attendees mentioned that these sessions were highlights of the conference, and they came away with new knowledge about how consumer health information can be incorporated into public libraries.


All of these workshops also qualified for Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education credits, which librarians can apply towards earning MLA’s Consumer Health Information Specialization certificate.


More information about these projects can be found here.

2012 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 72% of Internet users searched for health information online within the previous year. In addition, 47% of computer users at public libraries use them to find health information (Pew Research Center, 2013). Increasingly, people are turning to the web for medical questions, but they are not always ensuring that the information they find is credible and up-to-date. This is where librarians can help.


Spring 2014 NLM-USG virtual interns & their mentors. Photo by Melanie Modlin, NLM.

Health Information Project

Pamphlet by student: Shaun Rosa

Pamphlet by student: Shaun Rosa

Pamphlet by student: Shaun Rosa

Pamphlet by student: Shaun Rosa

Pamphlet by student: Andrew Lee

Pamphlet by student: Andrew Lee

Pamphlet by student: Andrew Lee

Pamphlet by student: Andrew Lee

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