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

WebJunction to Lead and Support New IMLS Grants

Publish Date: News / 25 August 2021

OCLC's WebJunction program is pleased to announce their role in five new IMLS grant projects. In addition to leading one of the new grants, we will serve as advisory, dissemination, or design partners on three additional IMLS National Leadership Gran...

Perspectives from the Field: Association for Rural & Small Libraries

Publish Date: News / 18 August 2021

Small and rural library staff have long had a champion through the professional organization, the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL). Hear from executive director Kate Laughlin as she shares the experience of the association as they n...

A Year in the Life of a Librarian-Turned-Contact-Tracer

Publish Date: News / 11 August 2021

Before the pandemic, Lisa Fagundes was working as an adult services librarian in the Information Services Department of the San Francisco Public Library. Lisa’s role was essentially the first stop for patrons at the Main branch: fielding questions, a...