Medical Reference Policy

Staff members answer reference requests for medical information just as they answer requests for information in other subject areas. They do not, however, offer medical advice or an interpretation of medical information.

Specifically, staff members provide the following medical reference.

  1. Staff members will assist patrons by finding information about a disease or medical condition in books, pamphlets, and journals for the the patrons to read.
  2. Staff members will read a definition of a medical term or, description of a disease or condition from an, available source. The source will be cited and quoted verbatim. When the definition is difficult to understand, staff will define terms used in the definition or description, but will not give an interpretation of the term.
  3. Staff members will read brief information about prescription drugs from the Physicians' Desk Reference and other drug dictionaries when the name of the drug is given. The source will be cited and quoted verbatim with no interpretation. Terms used in the text will be defined by using another available source. Staff will not identify a drug from a physical description.
  4. Staff members will advise patrons to consult a physician or other medical specialist when additional information is needed; however, they will not recommend a specific physician.
  5. Staff members will refer patrons to other health resources in the Akron area and local health associations when these resources seem most appropriate to answer the patron's needs.

Revised and Approved by the Board of Trustees - September 1987