Librarians Enhance Radio Show Content and Outreach: Win Public Service Award

By Fran Allegri September 14, 2016

The Health Sciences Library is committed to exploring new roles for librarians and staff. As a result of this emphasis, when a radio show needed assistance in areas that the HSL has expertise, the skills of our librarians were brought to bear. Furthermore, as a result of the work, one of the HSL’s librarians received a prestigious UNC-Chapel Hill award for public service.

The YOUR HEALTH radio show is a weekly, one-hour consumer health radio program produced by UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of Family Medicine that airs in Chapel Hill. Each show features a guest interview on a topic of interest to the general public, a review of recent research of practical interest, and answers to questions submitted by listeners of the show or viewers of the show’s blog.

Offering expertise in social media and web design, HSL librarians have helped the show design and implement an interactive blog/website.  The blog links listeners and blog visitors to health information by directly connecting community members with the show, the show’s social media, audio archives, and resource links.  Users can also use the blog to comment on shows, suggest topics, and submit questions to the hosts for the “House Calls” segment.

The blog is also used to announce upcoming shows and to provide a way for users to access audio archives along with augmented content provided by librarians for each show.  This content includes links to online resources for consumers on the topics covered during the show.  A team of librarians rotates weekly, listening to the show and identifying all topics discussed.  Using their expertise in finding and evaluating consumer health information, they identify appropriate websites for consumers that are linked to the corresponding show’s blog post.

Additionally, librarians worked to make content on the blog easily findable, employing a special vocabulary developed for health consumers to index each topic in each show, so that users can search by topic, in addition to date or name of the main guest interviewed.   Librarians helped incorporate the use of additional social media (including Facebook and Twitter) into the website and have assisted the show’s staff with the finding and appropriate use and attribution of photos and other media.

One of the Health Sciences Library’s aims is “connecting people everywhere with knowledge to improve health,” and our vision for 2020 is, “to be a leader in the global health information network, an essential campus and community partner, working to improve the health and well-being of the people of North Carolina, the nation, and the world.”  The show helps promote the role and availability of the HSL, our librarians, and our outreach service, NC Health Info (NCHI), to the community as resources available to them, members of the community.   Both the show (via on-air announcement, including the NC Health Info web address) and the blog/website provide direct links to the library and NCHI.

Barbara Renner, our liaison librarian to the Department of Allied Health in the School of Medicine, received the University’s Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for her work with the Your Health radio program. The Robert E. Bryan Award recognizes individual students, staff and organizations at UNC-Chapel Hill for extraordinary public service and engagement. This honor includes a cash award, a framed certificate and recognition at our annual Public Service Awards Ceremony and Showcase. Barbara was recognized at the Center for Public Service Awards ceremony on March 26, 2013.

Without question, by partnering librarians with the physician hosts and the public health-trained producer to augment on-air information and improve internet access to the show and this information, the HSL is increasing its ability to meet the health information needs of members of our local community, the State of North Carolina, and beyond.



Last modified: 12/16/16