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Libraries’ Role in Public Health

November 2, 2021 @ 11:20 am 11:50 am EDT

Libraries have long been trusted sources for reliable health information. In recent years, partnerships with public health nurses and social workers have brought preventative healthcare and behavioral health referrals into the library, along with connections to fresh food and exercise programming. Learn how recent innovations are going even further, addressing mental health—even loaning lamps to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder—piloting telehealth to allow patrons without reliable home internet to consult medical professionals in privacy, and even providing COVID tests and connecting patrons to vaccines. What are the next steps for libraries to leverage their role as trusted, stigma-free, and private sites to improve patron’s access to healthcare, and how can partnerships ensure that this doesn’t become yet another “other duty as assigned” for overburdened library workers?