Public Access to Health Information

IFLA/FAIFE Workshop facilitators (Paul Sturges, Marta Terry and Shane Godbolt) and KEN-AHILA members visit Oloishobor Dispensary, Ngong District, Kenya during the pilot workshop on ‘Public Access to Health Information Through Libraries’

People’s health matters as much as any other basic need (such as food and shelter), especially when it is threatened by disease and other conditions, whatever their causes. Libraries of all kinds need to make clear their commitment to the welfare and concerns of their users by strong commitment to key issues such as health.


By prioritising access to health information, libraries can provide an important support to the health services provided by doctors, clinics and hospitals. They can do this by empowering people with information that will enable them to:

  1. Avoid the circumstances that cause health problems;
  2. Take advantage of preventative health programmes;
  3. Obtain and take the best advantage of treatment programmes.

This is a big challenge and to help librarians meet it, IFLA FAIFE offers this set of Learning Materials for workshops on Public Access to Health Information.

The materials have been developed by FAIFE in cooperation with many partners including IFLA Health and Biosciences Section; Phi (Partnerships in Health Information); a working group of Cuban librarians under the leadership of Professor Marta Terry; and East African chapters of AHILA (The Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa).

The Learning Materials are intended for use by professionals for:

  1. Training their colleagues to develop Access to Health Information programmes;
  2. Studying health information as part of their own CPD (Continuing Professional Development) or as part of their programmes of study Library and Information Science;
  3. Putting on workshops on health information for their users or the general public.

The idea for a  Public Access to Health Information programme was first discussed at a meeting called by FAIFE at IFLA Headquarters in The Hague in October 2008, which drew up a specification for the materials. The first draft of the Learning Materials was created in Cuba in the first half of 2009. Pilot Workshops were held in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Jimma (Ethiopia) in August 2009.

The final version was completed on the basis of the lessons learned from the pilots in December 2009.


Learning Materials for workshops on Public Access to Health Information Through Libraries


Ma​nual: [PDF] Slides:

  • Introduction [PPT]  | [PDF]
  • Sharing experience and partnership possibilities [PPT] | [PDF]
  • What libraries can do to spread health information [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Group work  [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Addiction & abuse  [PPT] | [PDF]
  • HIV/AIDS module [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Infectious diseases [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Nutrition [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Road accidents & safety [PPT] | [PDF]


Manual: [PDF] Slides:

  • Uma introdução ao FAIFE e ao Programa de Workshops [PPT]  | [PDF]
  • Compartilhamento de experiências – e possibilidades de associações [PPT] | [PDF]
  • O que as bibliotecas podem fazer para disseminar informação de saúde [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Trabalho de Grupo  [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Álcool e outras drogas como problemas de saúde  [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Módulo HIV/AIDS [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Doenças Infecciosas [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Nutrição para a Boa Saúde [PPT] | [PDF]
  • Acidentes Rodoviários e Segurança [PPT] | [PDF]


Information Means Life
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Information Means Open Roads
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