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:

  • A growing repository of health information resources, including examples of related work undertaken by state and public libraries nationwide.
  • Information on upcoming and recorded webinars, where libraries and other community-based health and wellness representatives can share their knowledge and experience.
  • Access project news, including profiles of libraries working to address community health needs and announcements regarding new resource or partnership opportunities.

Most Recently Added

Books, Programming, Resources: Helping Patrons Through the Opioid Crisis

Publish Date: News / 9 January 2020

The opioid crisis which has crashed through American communities has brought patrons to public libraries seeking information about opioids and addiction. This collection of resources can help you connect patrons to the information that they need to s...

It's a Wrap! Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information Course

Publish Date: News / 26 November 2019

When Finger Lakes Library System librarian, Jenny Shonk, recently faced a personal health issue, she found herself turning to the convenience of Wikipedia for research. Shonk, who is the continuing education and outreach public librarian in Ithaca, N...