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
Sow Connection with Seed Libraries
Publish Date: News / 21 March 2023
Seed libraries offer a great way for new and experienced gardeners alike to expand their access to a wider variety of seeds, and traditional libraries are getting in on this growing trend. Seed libraries are community-based collections of seeds that ...
Promote Community Health with the Relationship-Driven Library
Publish Date: News / 21 February 2023
Let’s Move in Libraries is an international initiative to get people of all ages and abilities on the path to health. During the month of April, Let’s Move in Libraries will host a series of online conversations on community collaboration and communi...
Social Work Approaches to Library Services
Publish Date: Webinar / 29 November 2022
Learn how a range of social work approaches can be applied to help improve library services for your community.
Resources for Social Work and Library Collaboration
Publish Date: News / 28 November 2022
Library staff are known for their resourcefulness and commitment to adapting to help community members in need. But as the scope of library services has expanded to address complex social needs that aren’t being met elsewhere, it can feel overwhelmin...
Suicide Prevention for Veterans, Service Members, Families and Communities
Publish Date: Webinar / 15 November 2022
Learn how libraries can help raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention resources available to Veterans and their families with the Veterans Health Administration.