Empowering your community to manage their own health futures

Digital health literacy is an important skillset for all Australians to make appropriate and informed health decisions. According to the National Library of Medicine it means it ‘includes the ability to understand instructions on prescription drug bottles, appointment slips, medical education brochures, doctor's directions and consent forms, and the ability to negotiate complex health care systems’.

During the first phase of ALIA's digital health literacy training program, more than 2,700 public library staff have been trained to support patrons in navigating and understanding Federal Government digital health initiatives, such as My Health Record.

We are now into the next phase of the program, with public libraries rolling out community programs in digital health literacy across Australia. We know that people use public libraries as trusted sources of health and wellness information, and this is an opportunity to use your training to provide webinars, workshops, morning teas and/or Zoom sessions to your communities.

We ask that all participating libraries provide community engagement sessions throughout the remainder of 2021. Health Information Week 2021 will be running from 5-11 July, and this could be the perfect opportunity to run some digital health information events for your community. The online Digital Health Literacy training program finished on 31 March 2021, but if you were unable to register and complete the program before then, you can register and get access to the online training program here.

To help library staff run information sessions ALIA has created the following resources:

You can also access the Health Literacy Month handbook, which covers topics ranging from finding people to work with and brainstorming ideas to putting an event together, marketing it, and assessing effectiveness. This handbook also has examples and insights from others who have run Health Literacy events.

Further information on digital health literacy can be found on the following websites:

My Health Record resources and information

Other resources

The training was provided in partnership with the ALIA Australian Public Library Alliance (APLA), ALIA Health Libraries Australia (HLA) and the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Interested parties can still register for the free training, please contact [email protected] for more information.