Differing Perceptions of Public Librarians and Users in Assessing and Developing Korean Consumer Health Information

Younghee Noh


The purpose of this study is to evaluate and compare perceptions between public librarians and public library users and determine their preferences for quality Korean Consumer Health Information (CHI) websites, providing useful data for future CHI resource development and librarian CHI reference services. In this study, a group of librarians and users assessed health information resource sites that are searched by a relatively high number of users, based on the assessment criteria developed in preceding studies. First, there were significant differences between librarian and user groups in assessing health information resource sites, with the user group assessment being more rigorous. Second, the group that participated in criteria development gave higher points than the nonparticipant group in their site assessment. Third, this study analyzed the influence of librarians’ experience in providing, and users’ experience in searching for, health information. Although the differences were not significant, the more experienced groups gave higher points to both sites and criteria assessment than the ones with no experience. Through this study, a total of fifteen health information websites were assessed, and the results can be referred to by both librarians and users in public libraries and applied to other studies on resource assessment in the future. This study is the first study to deal with the assessment of CHI resources available to public librarians and users, as opposed to past studies, which have focused on general Internet users’ assessment of CHI resources. This study is also the first Korean study that has assessed CHI resources available in public libraries.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/rusq.52.3.3329


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