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

Community of Practice for Telehealth at the Library

Publish Date: News / 1 June 2021

Even before the pandemic, Pottsboro Library in Texas had begun to focus more on health, through their community garden, and programming like cooking classes for families on a SNAP budget. But when director Dianne Connery witnessed the added challenge...

Libraries and Museums as Vaccination Sites

Publish Date: News / 26 May 2021

Libraries and museums are innovative community centers, and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been essential to the community and national response. In addition to continuing to provide for their communities with curbside services and virtu...

Telling the Story of Food: Why Food Literacy Matters to Your Library

Publish Date: News / 15 April 2021

Rebecca Antill was a presenter in the WebJunction webinar, Strengthening Communities: Food Access at Your Library. Here, she shares additional information about food literacy programming and resources made available through the South Carolina Sta...