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. The formal program ended in June 2016, but the resources and materials continue to be available for anyone to use.

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 was run in partnership with ZeroDivide and was funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Freely available resources include:

  • 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

Growing Library Garden Programs

 News / Last Modified: 27 March 2017

Upon hearing news of First Lady Michelle Obama's surprise visit to school and community gardens, we thought it would be a good time to collect together a list of related resources and examples of libraries who are creating gardens and hosting garden ...

Library Kitchens and Cooking Programs

 News / Last Modified: 22 March 2017

Frequently we spot posts on Facebook groups, like ALA Think Tank or the Programming Librarian Interest Group, that get us really excited. Today was one of those days, when we saw a question posted by someone who's library has just opened a renovated ...

Libraries Provide Much Needed Access to Nutrition in the Summer

 News / Last Modified: 01 March 2017

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 13.1 million children under 18 in the United States live in food-insecure households. And even as the number of children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals increases, according to the Foo...

Project J.O.B. Aligns Health and Economic Opportunity for Community

 News / Last Modified: 23 February 2017

Thorson Memorial Library, in collaboration with the Grant County Child & Youth Council, embarked on a project titled J.O.B., standing for Jobs, Opportunities and Benefits. This project launched as part of the library’s participation in the Public...