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One Kind of Power User

There are many kinds of power users of resources – digital and print – in libraries.

Here’s one kind of power user:

“When people go online searching for health information, they’re often also looking for someone who’s grappling with the same problem. That’s especially true if they’re dealing with a rare disease.

The Internet provides a gateway to all kinds of medical facts and also to people who have come by that information the hard way.

That’s the news from a survey just out from the Pew Internet Project and the California Healthcare Foundation. They found that people dealing with rare diseases are the undisputed power users of health information online.”

People Coping With Rare Disease Are Internet Power Users
by Nancy Shute

“That’s the news from a survey just out from the Pew Internet Project and the California Healthcare Foundation. They found that people dealing with rare diseases are the undisputed power users of health information online.

About 25 million people in the United States have a rare disease, although each disease affects no more than 200,000 people. Because of that, people often have a hard time finding others in the community with first-hand knowledge of that disease.

People are also more likely to seek their peers out online if they are coping with a medical crisis, are a caregiver for a sick relative, or are dealing with a chronic condition. About one-quarter of Internet users in those situation seek out peers online, compared to 18 percent of Web surfers overall.”

Check out the full Pew report if your library helps people with health issues:

Peer-to-peer Healthcare
by Susannah Fox
(26 page PDF)

How many other power user groups are there? I’ll bet a great number. Genealogists, types of hobbyists, personal investors, and on and . How do we better position what libraries have along with the consumer web sources?

Stephen

Posted on: March 6, 2011, 7:20 am Category: Uncategorized

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