Consumer health information and the not-for-profit health agency

Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1991 Apr;79(2):189-94.


Driven by increasing consumer demand, not-for-profit health agencies are responding by providing accurate, current information about the disorders they deal with. A case history of the information service at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the role of the health sciences librarian in the development of such information centers is described. The librarian, as information provider in the health agency setting, obtains professional advisory support, thus assuring delivery of the most responsible information to the constituency represented by the organization. An overview of the decision-making process for development of such a service is provided, including a description of the Cuadra STAR integrated online system. This system offers an infinite number of databases with immediate access to cross database searching of pertinent internal files and standard library records. A random survey of consumers, based on questioning repeat callers, has indicated an overwhelmingly positive response to this service.

MeSH terms

  • Community Participation*
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Information Services / organization & administration*
  • Librarians
  • New York City
  • Online Systems
  • Voluntary Health Agencies*