Background and objectives: As a result of their involvement in a campus health fair, the authors of this paper became interested in the extent to which other academic libraries were engaged in health information outreach (HIO). The authors present the results of a nationwide survey they conducted in 2010.
Methods: The authors conducted an online survey* of approximately 1700 U.S. general academic and academic health science libraries with the objective to create a broad picture of HIO activity and its context within patron information-seeking behavior.
Results: The survey yielded a 21% response rate. Nearly 55 % of all respondents indicated that their libraries did not participate in HIO, while 37 % indicated that they did. Other responses yielded information on patron usage patterns concerning health information, specific types of HIO that libraries are involved in, and barriers to library involvement in HIO.
Conclusions: As libraries’ traditional roles and information delivery methods evolve, librarians must do more to provide services that are relevant and accessible to users. Even as virtual services become more commonplace, librarians involved in HIO should consider also increasing their visibility by collaborating with others on campus.
*survey was conducted after gaining approval by The University of Toledo's Institutional Review Board.
A 10-year follow-up survey is currently in-progress. Data from the 2020 survey will be shared at a later point.
Updates to this LibGuide will be posted in 2021.