A recent IMLS study showed that an estimated 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. The library’s role in health information dissemination became perhaps most well-known with the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace launch in 2013. Because of this massive change in federal healthcare, Webjunction partnered with ZeroDivide to create the program Health Happens in Libraries.
The primary goal of Health Happens in Libraries is to increase the capacity of library staff to respond to patron requests for information regarding the Affordable Care Act. Libraries are uniquely situated to help patrons sift through the information and point them in the direction of qualified, professional help. Librarians can take part in regular free webinars and other training opportunities through the program. Additionally, they may subscribe to news updates to keep abreast of trends and hot topics.
Health Happens in Libraries also provides librarians a chance to share their success stories so we can all generate new ideas for health programming. Check out out the Library Stories section – you’ll find tons of great ideas: http://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/ehealth/library-stories.html.