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Call for Chapters: Advances in Librarianship Volume on "Roles and Responsibilities of Libraries in Increasing Consumer Health Literacy and Reducing Health Disparities"

We invite contributions for volume 48 of the Advances in Librarianship book series
( on the topic of "Roles
and Responsibilities of Libraries in Increasing Consumer Health Literacy and Reducing Health Disparities." We welcome submissions that make a novel contribution, whether empirical, methodological, theory-based, and/or practical in nature. This volume will be edited by Beth St. Jean, Gagan Jindal, Yuting Liao, and Paul Jaeger, and is scheduled for publication in September 2020. Chapter proposals of between 500 and 1,000 words are due by August 15, 2019. Authors will be notified of acceptance by September 15th, and full
chapters will be due by January 15, 2020.Please contact the volume editors if you have any questions.

We seek submissions from a wide array of disciplines and perspectives for this volume of Advances in
Librarianship focused on the many ways in which libraries are helping (and can help) to improve consumer
health literacy and decrease health disparities. Both research-based and practice-based contributions will be welcome, as well as those that blend these two approaches. Central to this volume will be the topic of consumer health information (in)justice - an umbrella term that encompasses the many information-related factors that impact the potential of a society to achieve health justice and the integrally related potential of an individual to experience health (in)justice (St. Jean, Jindal, Liao, & Jaeger, 2019). Health justice, which entails the recognition and fulfillment of the moral entitlement of every individual to a sufficient and equitable capability to be healthy (Venkatapuram, 2011), is an increasingly distant goal in the U.S. and around the globe. Individuals and communities who encounter social injustice in the form of poverty, inadequate education insufficient health insurance, and limited access to other types of resources and opportunities, are more likely to fall ill, become injured, and/or die prematurely (Levy & Sidel, 2013).

The focus of this volume will be on the myriad ways in which information professionals and information have
played, and can play, fundamental roles in contributing to progress toward consumer health information justice. Both information professionals and information are instrumental in ensuring that every individual has access to the resources and opportunities that will support their ability to live a long and healthy life. An individual's ability to live a long and healthy life rests on many types of information-related factors, including their awareness of, and access to, trustworthy health information; their awareness of, and ability to articulate, their health-related information needs; their health literacy levels; their health-related information behaviors, etc. All of these factors fundamentally influence an individual's actual and potential health trajectories, as well as the health outcomes they can and do experience. Fortunately, such factors have a strong potential to be influenced by information professionals, who have both an opportunity and a responsibility to help to shape these factors in such a way that they optimize each individual's capability to be healthy and to flourish.

Consumer health information (in)justice is a nascent field that sits at the intersection of health and social justice, with a particular focus on the information-related factors that contribute to, and that can help to reduce, health injustice. Information professionals and information have tremendous potential to help to eradicate consumer health information injustice and this volume will help to illuminate the many related efforts that are already taking place, as well as ideas of those that could take place, within libraries around the world.

Sample topics to be covered:
Topics of interest for this volume include, but are not limited to:

  • Consumer health information behavior
    • Consumer health information needs and seeking behaviors
    • Incognizance (a lack of awareness that one has a particular health information need)
    • Health information seeking in public, academic, hospital, or school libraries
    • Health information seeking online
    • Health information access issues and impacts
    • Active vs. passive health information seeking
    • Consumer perceptions regarding whether health information is personally relevant and actionable
    • Credibility assessment processes used by consumers seeking or encountering health information
    • Consumer trust toward various sources of health information, such as doctors, librarians, government health agency websites, and social media
    • Health information avoidance
    • Processes and impacts of consumer health information behavior and resultant learning across time
    • Impact of use of Internet filtering technologies in libraries and schools on patron/student health information seeking/acquisition
    • Barriers to health information seeking
    • Impacts of health information access and information behaviors on individuals' health trajectories and outcomes
    • The "knowledge-behavior gap" - the common finding that although people may have the information they need, they may not actually act on it
  • Beliefs and Affect
    • Health-related perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes, such as health-related and information-related self-efficacy
    • Emotional and psychological influences on health information seeking/avoidance
    • Influences of shame, blame, and stigma on consumer health information access, seeking, and use
  • Patient narratives
    • Patient experiences, illness narratives, and personal health information management and/or sharing
  • Health literacy
    • Issues and challenges relating to health literacy and digital health literacy
  • Social justice
    • Equity, diversity, and inclusion as they relate to health information access, needs, seeking, etc.
    • Health disparities and inequitable health outcomes
    • Social justice issues, with a central health-related focus
  • Community engagement
    • Community engagement and health promotion efforts
    • Health-related information resources, programs, and services offered by public libraries, hospital libraries, academic libraries, school libraries, universities, government agencies, etc.
  • Technology design and assessment
    • Design, assessment, and use of emerging technologies for consumer health information seeking, management, use, etc.

Estimated length:
250 printed pages (approximately 10 to 15 chapters, about 15 to 25 printed pages each)

Estimated timeline:
July 1, 2019: Issue initial call for chapter proposals
August 15, 2019: Chapter proposals due
September 15, 2019: Acceptances/rejection notices issued
January 15, 2020: Full chapters due
January 15 - February 29, 2020: Peer review process
March 15, 2020: Final versions of chapters due
September 2020: Publication of Advances in Librarianship volume

Beth St. Jean (, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
Gagan Jindal (, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
Yuting Liao (, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland
Paul Jaeger (, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Author Guidelines:

Levy, B. S., & Sidel, V. W. (2013). Social injustice and public health (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
St. Jean, B., Jindal, G., Liao, Y., & Jaeger, P. (in press). The central role of information in health justice: Toward a new
field of "Consumer Health Information Justice." International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion,
3(3), July 2019.
Venkatapuram, S. (2011). Health justice: An argument from the capabilities approach. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Call for Submissions