As we have seen many times GIS can be used in a variety of fields and serve as a useful tool. Once again GIS is used to help portray impactful data through maps. In this study libraries use GIS with US census data to present and analyze data in a new way. Combined with the data provided by the US Census, GIS is useful for libraries in the area of service planning. The goal was to analyze demographic and socioeconomic patterns through maps to then plan an outreach program. The libraries have a free telephone based consumer and patient health information service called (CAPHIS), the staff responds to calls by mailing packets of health information at the appropriate literacy level to the caller. This service provides a good alternative to those who my not have internet access or need additional assistance because of limited health literacy and socioeconomic disparities. Studies have shown that people of low socioeconomic background have low health literacy, which leads to poor health lifestyles. Studies have also shown that libraries provide valuable health information and those who use these libraries report positive health actions in their life style.
This study uses the US census data to pinpoint the presence of people 60 years and over, poverty status in the past 12 months by sex and age, and sex by age by ambulatory disabilities. GIS was used to graph the locations of the origin of the calls to CAPHIS. GIS was also used to graph the areas based on rate of ambulatory disabilities. The graph provided by GIS paired with the US senses data can be used to plan out service projects to spread awareness about library services to low socioeconomic areas to improve health literacy amongst the community.
GIS is used in this study to create an action plan to improve the health of communities who do not have a well versed background in health literacy. GIS has once again proven to be a helpful tool in improving society.
Socha, Y. M., Oelschlegel, S., Vaughn, C. J., & Earl, M. (2012). Improving an outreach service by analyzing the relationship of health information disparities to socioeconomic indicators using geographic information systems. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 100(3), 222.