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.  

Sign up to receive updates about this project.

Updates will include details about scheduled webinars and new additions to the resources available through WebJunction.

Most Recently Added

Meaningful Use: Libraries connecting patrons to ACA resources

 Webinar / Last Modified: 08 October 2015

This webinar will explore strategies for libraries to identify ACA resources, hear from libraries that are working to prepare for patron requests, and obtain key policy and resource updates from ACA experts.

Health Education Highlighted at Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

 News / Last Modified: 07 October 2015

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, in coordination with Catholic Health's WomenCare division, convened 44 community organizations in a Women's Health Fair. The fair was held at the Central Library location in March 2015 and more than 300 commu...

Individuals Empowered to Manage Health at Wilkes County Public Library

 News / Last Modified: 07 October 2015

Wilkes County Public Library and partners at the Wilkes County Health Department brought a six-week workshop to community members, focused on chronic disease self-management. This “Better Choices, Better Health Workshop” was taught by certified instr...

St. Charles Parish Library Address Food Insecurity with Personal Support

 News / Last Modified: 30 September 2015

St. Charles Parish Library traditionally sponsors a "Food for Fines" drive in April, when patrons who donate food get a dollar off of library fines for every item they bring in. As a result, when a local food pantry needed a place to host d...

Healthy Foods Competition Heats Up at Crandon Public Library

 News / Last Modified: 30 September 2015

Crandon Public Library and its partners hosted a community cooking competition—Iron Chef—to promote healthy recipes and ingredients. Using space at the local school cafeteria, participants were given 30 minutes to create a unique panini dish, using t...