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Access the tools, program ideas and primers you need to stay up-to- date on health literacy topics.

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Program Ideas

Special Olympics Young Athletes Program Creates Environments for Inclusive Play Partner

A Young Athlete participating in a program at the New Brunswick Free Library in New Jersey.

When you think of providing programming at your library collaborating, with Special Olympics might not be the first organization that comes to mind. However, if you are in need of inclusive programming that reaches children with and without intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics Young Athletes program is a great place to start.

Have Things, Will Program: Programming around Your Sports 'Library of Things'

Child kicking soccer ball

This month, two Michigan public libraries — Pontiac and Pinckney — acquired basketballs, footballs, baseballs and other sports equipment that can be checked out from the library for a two-week period, marking the beginning of Project Play: Southeast Michigan.

Of course, all that equipment does no good if it just sits on the shelves, so libraries are working with partners, in particular local YMCAs, to offer active play programs that show patrons how to utilize the new collections. 

Libraries Rock

Painted rocks displayed on a table

If you weren't already familiar with the craze for painting rocks and hiding them, you might be living under, well … a large boulder.

Biking through History at the Library

Group of bicyclists in front of building

Library-led tours can be a highly engaging — and surprising — addition to your programming lineup.

Community Engagement: Healthy Living Outreach for Seniors

Man looking at tablet

The primary goals for the Healthy Living Outreach for Seniors program were to help seniors develop the ability to use technology through tablets, as well as understand the importance of e-health literacy and patient-centered care.


It's Not Over 'til It's Over: Wrapping Up a Grant Project

Young boy in Go Kart with upstreched arms

In this blog series, we’ve talked about all aspects of Boomers and Beyond, a large-scale, grant-funded program series for Baby Boomers at the Palos Verdes Library District — from deciding which grant to apply for based on our community’s needs, to owning our failures, to getting people to show up for our 36 programs.

Get Fit with Geri-Fit

five water bottles and two sets of dumbbells

Geri-Fit® is a 45-minute, evidence-based strength training exercise class for older adults of all physical ability. Most of the bodybuilding exercises are performed seated in chairs with a set of light dumbbell weights with participants following along to a DVD or streamed workout. There’s no dancing, aerobics or choreography to learn, and participants never have to get on the floor.

Health and Wellness: Worthy of Full-Time Programming

Through its full-time youth health and program coordinator position, the City of Harker Heights (Texas) Stewart C. Meyer Public Library is working to infuse health and wellness into all of its programming.

Destinee Barton stepped into this new role in September 2018 after earning her bachelor’s degree in community health from Texas Woman’s University. I recently talked with Destinee, along with Library Director Lisa Youngblood and Children's Librarian Amanda Hairton, about how this new position emerged, what impacts it has had, and where they see it heading.

Emergency Preparedness Planning

the word "help" spelled in matches

To better prepare the community in case of an emergency, the Dallas Public Library prepared a joint library and community disaster preparedness plan. The plan included a one-shelf collection of books at seven branch locations and a one-shelf medical reference collection at three branch locations for the community to use in times of emergency.

We also created a pocket guide that would hold useful disaster preparation information and distributed 25 flash drives with pertinent information for use during a disaster when access to our server might be inhibited.

Community Conversations: Dialogue about Health

cartoon drawing of a seated audience and a group of scientists

Recently, the New York Public Library launched a new pilot series in select library branches across three boroughs. Community Conversations encourages open dialogue where everyone’s voice can be heard. 

When you, as a resident, participate in Community Conversations, you can expect to:

General Info

Health Literacy Bookmark File

Let community members know the important role your library plays in health and wellness!

Health Literacy Poster

Whether helping people find health information online, or holding yoga classes, your library is a critical element of building a healthy community. Tell library users ...

ALA Libraries Transform Health Literacy Toolkit

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) and The American Library Association (ALA) have partnered through the Libraries Transform public awareness campaig...