Available Until 7/28/2027

Health Literacy 360


For more information or to schedule this course, please contact Andrea Szwajcer <andrea.szwajcer@umanitoba.ca>.

This face-to-face course aims to be a holistic coverage of health literacy for the librarian, moving from awareness to the incorporation of health literacy principles in current service practices to the adoption of new services by identifying stakeholders at their institutions. Participants will at the end of the course: (a) recognize and utilize major sources of health literacy material and sources; (b) understand how health literacy principles can be applied in both consumer and health professional support services; (c) via case studies and exercises, identify stakeholders and devise new health literacy-centered services

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • define health literacy; complete health literacy assessments; identify core resources, including toolkits, policy, research, assessments etc.;
  • analyze client health literacy needs in relation to professional and system environments;
  • analyse case studies with respect to stakeholders, resource requirements, sustainability, applicability to own situation.


Introductions -- 15 min	
- Who we are
- Getting to know the participants
- Housekeeping (bathroom locations, etc.)	

Review Course Outline and Objectives -- 10 min	

Introduction to Health Literacy (HL) -- 30 min	
- Definitions
- Impact of low HL on health system
- Prevalence in population
- Recognizing signs of low HL
- GROUP EXERCISE: Measuring Health Literacy using Newest Vital Sign tool
- GROUP EXERCISE: Watch Health literacy video; identify all the cues/harms of low health literacy; discuss value of video as a tool 

Break -- 10 min

HL and Librarians -- 30 min	
- Relevance of HL to librarians
- SMALL GROUP EXERCISE: Brainstorm HL services/resources/program; present results to LARGE GROUP for DISCUSSION 
- INDIVIDUAL REFLECTION: from brainstorm and discussion, briefly describe 1 health literacy initiative and record it in the framework in 
handout package; invitation to share reflections for brief LARGE GROUP DISCUSSION/networking HL and Consumers/Patients -- 60 min - Information seeking behavior; implications of "right time, right information" for librarians and information delivery - Communication strategies (i.e. teach back) and the reference interview; teach-back video - PAIR ROLE PLAY: Using a consumer/librarian scenario, each of the pair practices incorporating communication strategies into librarian role - Librarian as navigator; librarian as coach: tools to assist consumers on how to prepare for and negotiate healthcare encounters (Using
CONS-IDE-RR for consumer inquiries) - SMALL GROUP EXERCISE: analyze one of two case studies of librarian-delivered initiatives for consumers; present analysis to LARGE GROUP for DISCUSSION Break -- 10 min HL and Health Professionals -- 60 min - HL-related needs of health professionals - Resources (e.g. Universal Precautions Health Literacy Toolkit) and tools - INDIVIDUAL EXERCISE: use the SMOG tool to determine literacy level of written materials - SMALL GROUP EXERCISE: rewrite a paragraph of a one-page letter written by a physician intended for 65+ female audience using Plain Language
Dictionary and health literacy principles - Librarian role in educating health professionals: health literacy competencies and health information literacy - the lost competency; moving beyond just information education - Librarian outreach to health professionals: what that can look like - SMALL GROUP EXERCISE: analyze one of two case studies of librarian-delivered initiatives for consumers; present analysis to LARGE GROUP for
DISCUSSION Session Wrap-up -- 15 min - Granting agencies and resources for funding projects - Furthering developing your HL skill set: specific HL conferences - Questions/Comments - Session evaluation forms

Facility Requirements

AV (projector with speaker; Internet access; group seating arrangement (6 – 8 participants/table); flipchart paper, stands, markers)


MLA CE Credits: 4