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Health Programs through Partnerships: A Case Study

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Woman rolling up yoga mat

New research by a San Jose State University scholar finds that most health programs offered by a major U.S. public library system are developed through community partnerships. San Jose Public Library not only works with partners to develop programs offered at the library, they also participate in regional health campaigns. Keep reading to learn how they do it, and to get inspired to try something new at your library! 

Roll-n-Read

Children listening to storytime

Our library has partnered with our local Wood River Parks and Recreation Department to offer a weekly children's program for kids (ages 5 and younger) that combines gymnastics and motor skills with literacy.

The library provides staff and a story for storytime; the parks department provices the gymnastics equipment and space for the little ones to play. 

DLD Health Literacy Initiative

X-ray

The Connecticut State library's Health Library Initiative is one of the our Division of Library Development (DLD) Strategic Focus Plan "Seven Literacies" — a key element of the Division's LSTA Five Year Plan. The initiative consists of strategic partnerships; ongoing health webinar offerings; professional development workshops, and online health and wellness resources.

Nourishing a Community: Mechanicville Farmers Market, Garden & Orchard

A booth at the Farmers Market

In June 2017, the Mechanicville District Public Library kicked off a community farmers market on the library’s front lawn. Throughout the summer, on Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m., hundreds of people came to stock up on vegetables, pasta, eggs, honey and other goods from local farms.

For a community with a 16.3 percent poverty rate, a market delivering fresh, local goods at affordable prices was a game-changer, and it also gave local farms an opportunity to sell their products.

Storytime in the Orchard

Woman reading outside to a crowd

Storytime in the Orchard is an all-ages storytime hosted by Boyertown Community Library and Frecon Farms. It is held outdoors on Thursdays at 9 a.m. from mid-June through October, weather permitting.

This program enhances awareness of local agriculture, provides a family experience of nature and boosts health literacy while having fun.

Hospitals & Health Care Systems: Natural Partners for Library Health Programming

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Red stethoscope with red felt heart on turquoise background

Health care systems and hospitals can be the best partners you can have for health programming. Public libraries in the U.S. have worked with hospitals to offer everything from bike safety programs to healthy cooking classes to fun, engaging hand hygiene games.

Parks & Rec: A Health Programming Partner

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A young girl playing with bubbles in a park

Each year, one Sunday in late April is National ParkRX Day. This day celebrates the “the growing movement of prescribing parks and nature to patients to improve human health.” National ParkRX Day builds upon the U.S. Surgeon General’s call to promote walking and walkable communities. Americans need to move more, and parks are the perfect place for that.

Don’t Do It All Yourself: Creating Health Fairs through Partnerships

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People at a healthy-eating event

Last month the Bellwood-Antis Public Library, located in a small town in central Pennsylvania, held its 12th annual Family Health and SafetyFair. Several hundred attendees turned out on a Saturday for a Run for Reading 5K, children's Zumba, a demonstration by local firefighters, health screenings and informational booths for health services like organ donation and kidney health.

Family Health and Safety Fair

A community member tests her grip at the library's Family Health and Safety Fair.

The Family Health and Safety Fair is an event for the whole community. We offer a Run for Reading 5K, children's Zumba, a demonstration by local firefighters, screenings for cholesterol and seven other kinds of ailments, as well as informational booths for health services such as organ donation and kidney health. 

Our 12th annual health fair and 5K were offered on Feb. 17, 2018.

Library Resource Outreach Center/Health Central

Black and white stethoscope

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homelessness is a public health issue. Central Library, like many public libraries, serves as a daytime shelter for Rochester’s homeless population.

In response, Central created the Library Resource Outreach Center (LROC) and Health Central (HC). The program has no eligibility standards, and no appointments are necessary for users to receive services.

Prevent Bullying through Exercise

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Kid in child's pose

Every day, thousands of children and teens all over the country and the world are bullied by their peers. These victims — who have been judged to have some weakness, perceived as somehow abnormal or lacking, or who are just a tiny bit different — are vulnerable to not Children in downward dog poseonly day-to-day torment but life-changing and decades-long repercussions.

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