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

Stories of Inclusion: Inclusive Practices at Cultural Institutions

 News / Last Modified: 15 May 2017

Although it's been 25 years since the passage of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), there is still much to learn to ensure that your programs and services are fully accessible and inclusive. Don't miss this unique opportunity to attend a thre...

Inquisitive Leadership in Action

 News / Last Modified: 03 May 2017

Community members visit their libraries to explore topics that span the wealth of human knowledge, and drive ideas for public library programs that address their interests and needs. Library staff members work diligently to prioritize and adapt insti...

New Information? No Problem.

 News / Last Modified: 03 May 2017

It is well known by now that community-based organizations were instrumental in enrolling more than eight million people in the health insurance marketplaces established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the first open enrollment period...

Public Libraries Promote Health

 News / Last Modified: 03 May 2017

The recently published 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey Report reveals some key features about public libraries in USA and how they serve their communities. Funded by the IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) and conducted by the American Libr...

Encouraging Health Information Discovery in Libraries

 News / Last Modified: 03 May 2017

We've all heard the saying before, perhaps from an educator, a parent, or even a librarian - "You don’t know what you don’t know." On the one hand, this phrase is a humbling reminder that there are limits to personal knowledge. On the other...