Experiences of health and digital literacy pilot sites: the barriers and facilitators to the embedding of health literacy and digital health literacy activities in public libraries and community information services in England (2023)

Type of publication:Report

Author(s):Rudd, Sarah; Price, Veronica; *Curtis, Jason


Abstract:The COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns accelerated the shift to digital delivery of health services and information. This has widened the digital and literacy divide in some sections of the population, which has been recognised as contributing to inequalities in health outcomes. If people and communities are to have agency in their own healthcare decisions, they need to be provided with appropriate support. This pilot scheme sought to explore whether public libraries and other trusted community hubs can become pillars of support to individuals: who seek assistance in finding good quality health information online; who need access to digital devices; and who require advice on navigating online sources of information. This report is based on the experiences of fourteen small scale pilot projects in which public, health and prison library services worked in cross-sector partnerships and with external stakeholders, on schemes designed to improve accessibility to health information and to reduce the digital divide for the communities they serve.

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