Public health library
A library is a model that people understand to be a place where they can get access to information. Like the libraries of today, it will provide more than information. The aim is to provide a complete set of services that will assist you and your community to find, translate, adjust or even make information content that suits a specific need. It will also provide you with the facility to place your contribution in a public space for others to use, comment, critique and evaluate.
Canlib will provide a virtual media library based on one specific disease, Cancer. It is intended that this will become the basis for a model that can then be applied to other disease areas and conditions and also other topics outside of the health area.
Cancer information can currently be sourced from at least 600 agencies across Europe. The information provided varies in quality, presentation and may not be suitable or available for all citizens and community needs. E.g. it may not meet their language, culture, religious or social and educational status.
Canlib will, through the project, address not only the issue of health literacy, but also the related issues of identifying barriers to positive health information consumption, the points of distribution and the need to relay existing and new information to wider sets of audiences using new and novel techniques that will raise awareness with the population at large by enabling intermediaries across the community.
Multiple challenges face the Canlib project, all of which, when successfully addressed will provide the potential to improve the current level of information content, solutions and approaches by:
– Building networks of support and resources
– Encourage positive sharing strategies amongst current providers
– Develop strategies to link effectively with all citizens
– Provide support to all wanting to improve cancer information for communities, families or friends.
Today, the use of technology can assist by:
– avoiding duplication of effort and so reduce costs to citizens
– increase levels of cooperation and positive information sharing.
– Reduce costs while improving information access.
It can bring together multiple sets of information for comparison, demonstration, mutual learning and development.
The challenge is to enable patients and others as well as the various intermediaries who may provide sources of good information and interest in aspects of this issue and can be positively involved by providing their creativity, experience, editing, translation or interest in localising information and images or other media to meet the needs of specific groups across the range of citizens that can include minorities within communities or specific interest of heath professionals across Europe, in a cost effective way.
Canlib will improve knowledge and understanding of health information providers. It will have the facilities to collect information on information needs, review content developed from its resources thereby meeting the needs across a range of targeted audiences.
By building an active, and indeed interactive community, it will provide the necessary conditions to have a better understanding of the current availability of information, gaps in this range and therefore opportunities to cover these.