Where to find reliable health information in other languages?

May 3, 2012 | sylvia

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HealthInformationInMultipleLanguagesLiving in an information explosion age like today, our challenge is not having limited access to information, but "separating the wheat from the chaff". For example, googling "diabetes", yields up 333 millions hits (as of May 3rd, 2012). So which ones can you trust?  If you are looking for a recipe for banana cake, it is ok to just take a look at the first couple of them. But if it's your health, you can't take it so lightly. Fortunately, there is help! Sites like MedlinePlus, and the Medical Library Association's website_ tell you how to find and evaluate health information on the web.

As for reliable free online health information in other languages than English, here are some useful sites:

Moreover, don't forget your Toronto Public Library! To find out which branches have your language collection, click here.

Or you can search our catalogue and order the materials you want before you go. Here is how to search the Toronto Public Library website for multilingual materials.

There are two different ways to search.

HealthInformationInMultipleLanguagesThe easiest way is to search in your own language. For example, to find some Chinese diabetes materials, _ simply type Hanyu Pinyin Tang Niao Bing in the search box from our library home page, and click Search. 20 results turn up (as of May 3rd, 2012).

Another way is to search in English for materials in your language, here is how to:

  1. click Advanced search (it's on top of our home page, right next to the Search button)
  2. type keywords/subject in the search box (leave All fields unchanged),
  3. select Type of material that you prefer (books, movies & video, audiobooks, etc.)
  4. select Language 
  5. select appropriate branch from At library branch (we have 98 branches) You can select any one from the list but since we have limited multilingual materials, it's better not to limit this at all. If an item is not available in your branch, _ it can be transferred to your local branch for pick-up. So it's best to select any branch
  6. select Age level (children/Teen/Adult)
  7. select Include [Reference Materials (in-library only)/Circulating Materials (take-home)/Fiction-Books/ Non-Fiction Books]
  8. click Search

Here is an example: a customer wants to find some Chinese materials on diabetes in the Toronto Public Library that she/ he can borrow.

Go to Advanced search, type "diabetes" (leave All fields unchanged), choose "any type" from Type, choose "Chinese" from Language, choose "any branch" from At library branch,  choose "Adult+Teen+Children" from Age level, choose "Circulating Materials (take-home)+Non-Fiction Books", then click Search. Viola! 17 items (as of May 3rd, 2012) show up.

Look through the 17 items and choose the one you want to borrow. Then click the green button Place Hold under each item to reserve them (If you didn't log in to your account before the search, you will be asked for your library and PIN number), then choose the branch from which you want to pick up the materials, finally click Place Hold again.

Then just relax and wait for the Library's notification (phone/email). Normally it takes 4-5 business days for the material to be transferred from branch to branch (if the material is available in the branch). Upon the notification, you got 7 days to pick-up your items.