Public Library Outreach: Health Information Hub Chicago Public Library
The project proposed is a health information hub inside a regional Chicago Public Library currently undergoing extensive renovations in a disadvantaged community that suffers from a spate of health conditions. The library, one of only two regional libraries in the city is frequented by 25,000 patrons each month and the goal is to improve both community awareness and health literacy by making information more accessible and culturally relevant to a predominantly African-American community. The Endeleo Institute is the community development arm of Trinity United Church of Christ, the venerable faith-based institution that for more than five decades has been a pillar for socieconomic justice in the Washington Heights community. In 2014, Endeleo spearheaded a community-led effort to restore the nearby library that for decades, had fallen into significant disrepair. Beyond the physical improvement, the restored public facility (scheduled to reopen in September) will serve as a model platform for a user-friendly data project designed to renew social capital in a neighborhood where the social determinants of health (e.g. high unemployment, violence, substandard housing, blight and disinvestment, poor education, lack of safety, social relationships) contribute to poor health outcomes. Collaboratively, we intend to build a culture of health.