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

New Resource to Respond to the Opioid Crisis: Testers Needed

Publish Date: News / 15 November 2022

The opioid crisis in the US continues to take a toll on lives in every class, age group, race, and ethnicity. According to the CDC, overdose from opioids claims 221 lives a day, and many more are dealing with daily struggles related to substance misu...

Resources for Helping Unhoused Patrons

Publish Date: News / 10 November 2022

Libraries are central to our communities, as places where anyone is welcome to gather, connect, and learn, but for some members of our community, they represent much more than that. For many people experiencing homelessness, the library might be the ...

New Playbook for Libraries in Public Health Emergencies

Publish Date: News / 13 September 2022

Public libraries have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on many levels. Navigating the sea of decision-making related to communicating during a crisis, managing staff needs, and maintaining our facilities have been major tasks. The newly ...