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Conference on Consumer Health and the Public Librarian

The NLM, Medical Library Association (MLA), and Public Library Association (PLA), are sponsoring "The Public Library and Consumer Health: Meeting Community Needs Through Resource Identification and Collaboration." This two-day conference will be held January 10-11, 2001 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington DC, immediately preceding the ALA 2001 Midwinter Meeting.

The conference will provide public librarians and library staff with an introduction to health information resources, collection development, and training in searching health and medical information databases. Examples of collaborative projects that public libraries can model will be presented. Grant-writing assistance will be offered, and specific opportunities for public libraries to apply for funding to support their consumer health education projects will be presented. Librarian attendees will also earn credit toward the new Consumer Health Librarian Credential to be offered through the MLA.

Dr. Tom Ferguson, adjunct associate professor of health informatics at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston, will provide the keynote address on Wednesday, January 10. Dr. Ferguson is editor and publisher of The Ferguson Report, an e-mail newsletter about online patient services, and author of Health Online: How to Find Health Information, Support Groups and Self-Help Communities in Cyberspace.

In conjunction with this event, NLM will offer tours of the Library at 8600 Rockville Pike in Bethesda, Md. on Friday, January 12. The tour will include a video overview of NLM programs and services, a computer search of the vast MEDLINE database, and a walking tour of the Library and its current exhibition. Transportation will be provided from the conference hotel.

Registration information will be sent to PLA members in September. For more information, visit PLA's website at PLA is a division of the American Library Association.