Health Happens in Libraries

Health Happens in Libraries is a program that magnifies the role of public libraries as key contributors to community health. By supporting public library staff with resources to respond confidently to patron requests for health information, and tools to form intentional partnerships with local community health experts, Health Happens in Libraries enhances public library capacity to advance health and wellness priorities in the communities they serve.

Libraries have a long history of meeting public demand for consumer health information. A recent IMLS study showed that an estimated 37 percent of library computer users (28 million people) use library computers and seek assistance from librarians for health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options. Health Happens in Libraries acknowledges the growing intersection of digital technologies and individual health management, and the opportunities for libraries to provide both physical and digital access to meaningful health education in their communities.

This program is run in partnership with ZeroDivide and is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Resources available to all libraries at this site include:

  • Opportunities to get involved, either through signing up for regular resource updates, or sharing your story and questions with program staff directly.
  • Access to our latest project news, including profiles of libraries working to address community health needs and announcements regarding new resource or partnership opportunities.
  • Information on upcoming and archived webinars, where libraries and other community-based health and wellness representatives can share their knowledge and experience. 
  • A growing repository of health information resources, including examples of related work undertaken by state and public libraries nationwide.  

Most Recently Added

Health Literacy Happens at Miami Public Library

 News / Last Modified: 30 March 2015

Miami Public Library (MPL) serves over 13,000 residents in Ottawa County, Oklahoma, and works to enhance the quality of life in the community by promoting the joy of reading, providing lifelong learning, and facilitating digital inclusion. Providing ...

Health Happens in Libraries Through Community Engagement

 News / Last Modified: 04 March 2015

Five U.S. public libraries have recently been selected as participants in the 2015 program activities of Health Happens in Libraries. Staff at these libraries will plan and implement community health activities that will establish or deepen local par...

Advancing Community Health Engagement at Your Library

 News / Last Modified: 03 March 2015

Library staff participants make our WebJunction webinars truly communal learning experiences. Our January 26 webinar on Pathways to Guide Health Education at Your Library was no exception. Participants provided great insight into the topics of mainta...

Understanding Ethics and Privacy in Health Information

 News / Last Modified: 25 February 2015

Libraries connect people to the information they need to enrich and improve their lives. When it comes to helping patrons with their health information needs, library staff often have questions about how to maintain ethical standards and patron priva...