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
Publish Date: News / 13 April 2021
This webinar explores how the principles of trauma-informed care and Mental Health First Aid can equip staff with the knowledge and confidence to communicate with compassion.
Publish Date: News / 24 March 2021
This webinar will share examples of library food access initiatives including seed libraries, community gardens and farmers markets.
Publish Date: News / 23 February 2021
This is the first in a new WebJunction series by Bobbi Newman, speaker, author and Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist at the Network of the National Library of Medicine, exploring library staff health and wellness.
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Publish Date: Webinar / 5 February 2021
This webinar will introduce tools for helping libraries improve social wellbeing in their communities, created from the Rural Library Service & Social Wellbeing Project.
Publish Date: Webinar / 22 October 2020
This webinar will highlight the multiple benefits of walking and walkable communities and how libraries can help lead community efforts.