Online health information in South Korean public libraries: Developing evaluation criteria

  • Oh S
  • Noh Y
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Abstract

Public librarians in South Korea assist users in obtaining information on a variety of topics. However, health-related information and services have a lower profile than other services due to a perceived lack of librarian expertise in searching and evaluating health resources. Although public library users are actively seeking health information, it has become critical for both public librarians and users to develop skills for using and evaluating Internet health resources. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify a set of useful criteria to evaluate online health web sites for both librarians and library users. From a comprehensive literature review, 33 criteria related to health website evaluation were identified. Using this set of criteria, South Korean public librarians and users were asked to rate the importance of each criterion in surveys. A strong consensus was found between the two groups. The top 10 most highly rated criteria from both groups were identified and compared. The results led to the development of an initial set of 12 evaluation criteria for health websites. It is expected that the final set of criteria will be used by public librarians to recommend the best health websites to their users. Although the study was conducted in South Korean public libraries, the findings are applicable in providing evaluation services of health websites to libraries worldwide.

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Authors

  • Sanghee Oh

  • Younghee Noh

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