Cannabis on campus: gateway to student health literacy for academic health science librarians
Introduction: Effective July 1, 2018, the smoking of recreational cannabis will become legal in Canada, and Provincial legislation will soon follow. The objective of this paper is to determine how Canadian universities are responding to this new reality via provision of web-based education and awareness materials through campus health centres. The paper explores what framework might exist or be created to partner academic health sciences librarians with student health services in the provision of best practice research for students and clinicians.
Method: A scan of English Canadian university websites was undertaken to determine whether information on cannabis or marijuana directed at students was available, and whether identifiable resources in the area of health science librarians or subject guides were available.
Results: Results of a website scan indicated that only 10.4% of universities have material available on cannabis whereas some 62% have qualified professional librarians associated with health sciences who could provide guidance on such material.
Discussion: Academic librarians and libraries already play a pivotal role in the retention and support of student academic goals through liaison, reference and instruction. There is precedent as well in some institutions for library partnerships with student services areas such as career services, accessibility and common book programs. This paper suggest that the complex factors related to cannabis education and health literacy in general present a unique opportunity for academic health science librarians to engage and partner with university health services and clinicians and grow the presence and influence of librarian support on university campuses.
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