Jarrod Irwin, consumer health coordinator at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region, speaks at the YALSA Symposium, November 3 in Memphis, Tennessee.

YALSA Symposium: Wellness and Community

November 4, 2019

“That can often mean supporting other types of literacy,” such as digital literacy or numeracy, Irwin said at “From A(ddiction) to Z(its): Health Information and Programs for Teens,” a session he presented at the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee, on November 3. “You don’t want to provide health advice because … Continue reading YALSA Symposium: Wellness and Community


Librarians Bridge the Gap: Accessing Public Health Information

September 17, 2019

In this five-part series, American Libraries presents case studies and interviews with thought leaders looking at research trends in academic libraries. We’ll be covering trends on the topics of social justice, information literacy, digital archives, faculty outreach, and new technology. This is our second story in the series. “Whether it’s helping to work with a question, … Continue reading Librarians Bridge the Gap: Accessing Public Health Information


Noah Lenstra

Exercise Your Resources

May 1, 2019

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, for instance, hosts Connections4Health, a program in which college student volunteers refer patrons to health resources, including those that address food insecurity, transportation, housing, and immigration concerns. In Ithaca, New York, Tompkins County Public Library teams up with Cornell University and Ithaca College for Ballet and Books, in which college students … Continue reading Exercise Your Resources


On My Mind, by Dane Ward

Librarians Defeating ALS

April 29, 2019

ALS—or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—is a motor neuron disorder characterized by progressive weakening of muscles, often beginning in the legs or arms. More than 5,000 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year, and about 20,000 have it at any given time. After diagnosis, most patients die within … Continue reading Librarians Defeating ALS


Library Zombie Workshop Is a No-Brainer Success

October 30, 2018

That’s what it took to come up with the idea of the Zombie Pandemic Preparedness Workshop, held October 25 at Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library’s (GCPL) Suwanee branch. The workshop taught attendees how to plan and prepare for a real-life pandemic. Participants learned crucial tips such as the importance of having an emergency supply kit … Continue reading Library Zombie Workshop Is a No-Brainer Success


Mobile food programs, like this one at Camden County (N.J.) Library System, are teaching food literacy and delivering nutritious meals in food deserts. Photo: Camden County (N.J.) Library System

A Movable Feast

September 4, 2018

“The city of Camden has only one grocery store, and most city residents rely on small stores and bodegas for food,” says Devlin. “These stores have a more limited supply of healthy food, which limits meal planning.” Inspired by a visit to the nearby Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Devlin decided … Continue reading A Movable Feast


Elizabeth Sargent (left), associate director of customer experience at Houston Public Library, speaks about her experience using the WIC center at Stimley-Blue Ridge.

WIC, Wellness, and Libraries

March 26, 2018

Staff members of Houston Public Library (HPL) discusses the WIC food and nutrition center in one of their branches in the session “What Having a WIC Center in Your Library Brings (Besides Crying Babies)” on March 22. Drew Alvey, manager of HPL’s Stimley-Blue Ridge branch, spoke of the WIC center project consisting of three overlapping … Continue reading WIC, Wellness, and Libraries



Claudia Alstrom, president of the Adult Library Garden Club at Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library's Rancho Cordova branch, teaches children about vegetables in the Read and Feed garden. Photo: Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library

Library to Farm to Table

November 1, 2016

For some libraries serving vulnerable populations, food-producing gardens and nutrition initiatives are born out of necessity. Others have launched programs to advance the causes of sustainability and education. When David Mixdorf was named director of the South Sioux City (Neb.) Public Library in 2009, he was well positioned to establish the library’s first community garden. … Continue reading Library to Farm to Table


From left: Erica Lake, associate librarian from the University of Utah’s Eccles Health Sciences Library; Mary White, a public health librarian with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Praba Naidoo of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa; and Dijana Sabolović-Krajina, from the Public Library Fran Galović in Koprivnica, Croatia.

Bridging the Health Divide

August 18, 2016

Librarians from South Africa, Croatia, Sri Lanka, and the United States presented findings from diverse initiatives, campaigns, and studies, mostly focusing on the librarian’s role in facilitating health information for the public and acting as a bridge to professional medical resources. Praba Naidoo of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, presented on a … Continue reading Bridging the Health Divide


Marilynn Lance-Robb, branch manager at the Carvers Bay Branch Library in Georgetown, South Carolina, assists a patron with health information. Photo: Marilynn Lance-Robb

Improving Health Literacy, One Public Library at a Time

October 30, 2015

Instead, Davis assists patrons with their health care questions by helping them find information on Medline-Plus, an authoritative, free website where the public can find health information in more than 40 languages. Although Davis, a former medical librarian, is familiar with health care topics, most public librarians do not necessarily have a medical background. Still … Continue reading Improving Health Literacy, One Public Library at a Time