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Taking it to the streets: the iTest iPad community based organization project

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Title: Taking it to the streets: the iTest iPad community based organization project
Dana Abbey, John Bramble, Barb Jones and Rachel Vukas
Affiliations: Health Sciences Library, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah
J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library, University of Missouri
Archie R. Dykes Library, University of Kansas Medical Center


Community-based organizations (CBOs) connect community members to prevention and wellness services, coordinate access to appropriate health care services, and link individuals to coverage. CBOs are especially effective in providing services to under-served, low-income and ethnically diverse communities.

In 2012, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR) launched a pilot project with three community based organizations to support access to relevant health information resources for their users.  Each organization was provided an Apple iPad and a cellular data plan – allowing CBO staff to have Internet access where they normally would not during their outreach activities. Additionally, participants received training on health information resources from the National Library of Medicine and on the use of the iPad, and agreed to quarterly reporting of their experiences with the device.

CBO staff soon noticed how immediate access health services and education tools enhanced their outreach efforts. One CBO utilized the iPad to demonstrate HIV/AIDS prevention/educational resources and direct clients to the nearest HIV testing site. Another used the iPad during home visits to provide education on immunization for at risk pregnant and parenting women. Each CBO reported how easy the iPad was easy to use once they learned to use some of the more common applications, and are working on ways to continue funding the cellular Internet access at the conclusion of the pilot project.

This session will describe the diverse outreach conducted by the three CBOs, highlight the transformative aspects of integrating the iPad into daily outreach activities, and discuss ways in which libraries and CBOs can partner and collaborate to support access to relevant health information resources in their community.

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