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SIG-HLTH Best Health-Related ASIS&T 2023 Annual Meeting Paper and Poster Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural SIG-HLTH Best Health-Related ASIS&T 2023 Annual Meeting Paper and Poster Awards!


SIG-HLTH Best Health-Related ASIS&T 2023 Annual Meeting Paper Award


"What Is a Wave But 1000 Drops Working Together?": The Role of Public Libraries in Addressing Health Information Disparities For LGBTQIA+ Communities

Authors: Vanessa Kitzie, Nick Vera, and Valerie Vera, University of South Carolina, College of Information & Communications, School of Information Science, USA; Travis Wagner, University of Illinois, School of Information Sciences

Abstract: This paper presents results from a participatory action research study with 46 LGBTQIA+ community leaders and 60 library workers who participated in four community forums at public libraries across the US. The forums identified barriers to LGBTQIA+ communities addressing their health questions and concerns and explored strategies for public libraries to tackle them. Forums followed the World Café format to facilitate collaborative knowledge development and promote participant-led change. Data sources included collaborative notes taken by participants and observational researcher notes. Results revealed that barriers experienced by LGBTQIA+ communities are structurally and socially entrenched and require systematic changes. Public libraries must expand their strategies beyond collection development and one-off programming to meet these requirements. Suggested strategies include outreach, community engagement, and mutual aid initiatives characterized by explicit advocacy for LGBTQIA+ communities and community organizing approaches. Public libraries can readily adopt strategies overviewed in this paper for LGBTQIA+ health promotion.



SIG-HLTH Best Health-Related ASIS&T 2023 Annual Meeting Poster Award


Nonsuicidal Self-Injury and Content Moderation on TikTok

Author: Valerie Vera, University of South Carolina, College of Information & Communications, USA

Abstract: Online nonsuicidal self-injury communities commonly create and share information on harm reduction strategies and exchange social support on social media platforms, including the short-form video sharing platform TikTok. While TikTok's Community Guidelines permit users to share personal experiences with mental health topics, TikTok explicitly bans content depicting, promoting, normalizing, or glorifying activities that could lead to self-harm. As such, TikTok may moderate user-generated content, leading to exclusion and marginalization in this digital space. Through semi-structured interviews with eight TikTok users with a history of nonsuicidal self-injury, this research explores how users experience TikTok’s algorithm to create and engage with content on nonsuicidal self-injury. Findings demonstrate that users understand how to circumnavigate TikTok’s algorithm through algospeak and signaling to maintain visibility on the platform. Further, findings emphasize that users actively engage in self-surveillance and self-censorship to create a safe online community. In turn, content moderation can ultimately hinder progress toward the destigmatization of nonsuicidal self-injury and restrict social support exchanged within online nonsuicidal self-injury communities.