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Logo of mlabJournal informationSubscribeSubmissions on the Publisher web siteCurrent issue of BMLA in PMCAlso see JMLA journal in PMC
 
Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1996 April; 84(2): 247–252.
PMCID: PMC299419

Consumer health information partnerships: the health science library and multitype library system.

Abstract

The University of Illinois Library of the Health Sciences at Rockford (LHS-Rockford) long has honored a commitment to serving the health information needs of the greater Rockford community. Utilization data collected over the past five years indicate that approximately 50% of reference transactions involve persons not affiliated with the university. In early 1994, LHS-Rockford submitted a proposal to the Northern Illinois Library System (NILS), a multitype system spanning twelve counties in northwestern Illinois, asking to serve as a resource library for improving medical and health information services provided by the 138 NILS member libraries. The NILS funded this pilot project as part of an effort to implement a new strategic plan, which encouraged member libraries to form networks to provide reference back-up service. LHS-Rockford acquired InfoTrac's Health Reference Center, a consumer health information database, and set up a dedicated workstation near the information and circulation desk. Referral guidelines were established and the project was promoted among NILS member libraries. Activities were documented in order to track project success in terms of referrals and outcomes. The demonstration project was very successful, and it proves public consumers seeking health information can benefit greatly from this type of cooperative arrangement.

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Articles from Bulletin of the Medical Library Association are provided here courtesy of Medical Library Association