Faced with a minor illness or major healthcare crisis, many people turn to the Internet for information. But with the misinformation that absolutely anyone can post on the Web, and the medical jargon, the task can be daunting. Physicians provide basic information, but they don't have time to answer every question.
"Librarians can save consumers time because they have a wealth of information resources available to them that are not available to the general public," says Jean Shipman, president of the national Medical Library Association in Chicago.
She says medical librarians are similar to personal shoppers, offering expertise in the best information to use, based on knowing their clients' desires, tastes and needs.
Among their resources are databases with links to medical journals and the latest healthcare treatment reports, along with facts shared at professional healthcare meetings. "This is often cutting-edge information, as it takes time for it to reach traditional published formats," she says.
Read more (registration may be required).