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Libraries have a long history of meeting public demand for consumer health information. A recent IMLS study showed that an estimated 37 percent of library computer users (28 million people) use library computers and seek assistance from librarians for health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options.
As prominent providers of Internet access and digital literacy training for people who lack Internet connections at home, libraries can anticipate intensified demand for information computer services as patrons look for health insurance information. IMLS and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare will work cooperatively to make sure that libraries are aware of and able to connect patrons with information resources and community partners.
To help local libraries decide how best to serve their patrons IMLS is working with OCLC to support the effort through its flagship public library program WebJunction.org. The goal is to assure that librarians have the information and connections with local experts needed to connect their patrons to information about the Health Insurance.
- Sign-up opportunity for anyone interested in receiving project activity updates, new online resources, webinar registrations, and archived webinar recordings from WebJunction: http://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/ehealth/get-involved.html
- FAQs for library staff with more information about WebJunction resources and the Health Insurance Marketplace: http://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/ehealth/more-info.html
- The link to the primary U.S. government online tool for delivering information to Americans about their healthcare options: http://healthcare.gov
- Info widgets for library websites, which will lead users directly to U.S. government info: http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/widgets-and-badges/m?p-badges-english.html for English and http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/widgets-and-badges/mp-badges-spanish.html for Spanish.