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

Library Kitchens and Cooking Programs

 News / Last Modified: 13 September 2019

Frequently we spot posts on Facebook groups, like ALA Think Tank or the Programming Librarian Interest Group, that get us really excited. Today was one of those days, when we saw a question posted by someone who's library has just opened a renovated ...

Programs for Culinary Literacy at the Gwinnett County Public Library

 News / Last Modified: 11 September 2019

The number of libraries offering garden and culinary-focused programming have been "growing" and we love to highlight the ways libraries are innovating in this area. We recently had the opportunity to speak with staff at the Gwinnett County...

State Library of Ohio: Leading Practices for e-Government Services

 News / Last Modified: 09 September 2019

In June 2014, the Health Happens in Libraries team met with representatives from the State Library of Ohio to learn more about their experiences with supporting Ohio libraries during the initial health insurance marketplace enrollment period establis...

Connecting for Care in Your Community

 News / Last Modified: 09 September 2019

We're curious – how do members of your community connect for care? It's a broad question, and "connecting for care" means different things to a lot of people. That's why we're asking! So – email us and let us know – how do members of your c...