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Guide 4: Plan Activities to Reach Project Goals

Now that you have done your community assessment and defined your goals, you can think about activities that might meet the needs of your community. What sort of activities would engage your community partners?

Here are some activities which public libraries and community groups have worked on together:

  • Bookmarks and brochures.
  • Children's story time with topics on community health concerns.
  • Computer/internet training with a health focus.
  • Conduct classes on wellness.
  • Enhance library and community web sites with
    local and national resources regarding breast cancer screening and detection.
  • Educate community workers on health resources available at the local public library.
  • Exhibit at Local Health Fairs.
  • Networks of supporters throughout the community leads to action.
  • Press releases to local papers and radio stations.
  • Teen night with a speaker on kids health topics.

Many libraries and community organizations have engaged in partnerships to promote access to health information and health literacy.

The following is a selection of partnerships which have activities that your library and local community organization might want to consider implementing.

Community Outreach Projects

Ann Arbor District Library (part of the Healthy People Library Project)
Media Outreach, Promotional Giveaways, as well as Outreach to Community Leaders, Senior Citizens and Teens.

Community Tool Box
The Community Toolbox provides over 6,000 pages of practical skill-building information on over 250 different topics. Topic sections include step-by-step instruction, examples, check-lists, and related resources. The goal is to support your work in promoting community health and development.

Detroit Communtity AIDS Library
The Goal for this project was to provide a gateway to local and worldwide HIV/AIDS information resources for Detroit and Southeastern Michigan. Community outreach is essential to ensure that the library will continue growing as a health information portal for the community. An online library was created in 1995 through a partnership of academic health sciences, medical hospital and public libraries and three urban community-based organizations serving HIV/AIDS infected and affected persons: Community Health Awareness Group, Friends Alliance and Project, and Survival.

Consumer Health Collections

The Consumer Health Collection at the Markdale library in Southern Ontario
The health and medical collection was examined as an example of a collection that helps people make better, more informed, healthier decisions. The ten most popular titles circulated a total of 330 times. The total cost of the books was $202.95; the per use cost was $0.62; and the total value to the community $66,973. See how this library evaluates it's contribution to the community.

St. Mary's library in Southern Ontario
A report on usage from a library survey notes that health and medical information lead the way in terms of information sought to assist in the decision-making process. 47.5% of the survey respondents use health and medical information.

Inova Health System partners with public libraries.
Learn about the possibility of corporate partnership. Inova participated in two partnerships with the Fairfax County Public Library and the Alexandria City Library. In addition to the Inova HealthSource classes offered at library branches, both partnerships worked on several joint projects including establishing a community resource center at Beatley Central Library to provide health information materials and access to Inova's automated Health Information Library.

Expanding the Capacity of the Public Library: Partnerships with Community Based Environmental Groups.
This website lists a smattering of public library and community partnerships.
In Solon Iowa: Frustrated with the limited information on sustainable organic farming methods, three residents, started a group called Prairie Talk. Initially, the group wanted to develop a collection of materials they could share that would be housed in one of their homes. Yet the group decided to think public. "I wanted my community to share resources and the library was the best place to do that." Prairie Talk's sustainable farming resource center at the Solon Public Library was born. The collection has been an invaluable resource for not only the immediate town, but also for the larger midwest farming community.

Cultural and Bilingual Information Projects

Accessing Online Information for Immigrant and Refugee Health This project seeks to provide access to internet-based health information for members of seven immigrant communities in Seattle, in a way that is culturally meaningful.

Hmong Health Information Project Its mission is to develop health information resources, services and model programs to improve Hmong patient-health professional communication.

HICUP for Good Health: Bilingual English/Chinese health information for clinicians and educators.
This collaboration of public library, medical library and chinese health information center resulted in a web site which has become nationally recognized.


Community Partnerships for Information Literacy
The Yakima Valley Regional Library System partnered with the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the Yakima Health District, and Wellness House.
Some project goals:

  • Educate librarians, health resource coordinators, clinicians, social services workers, and the general public in use of health information resources including Web sites and libraries/ resource centers
  • Help to select physical materials and web resources related to cancer
  • Pool resources. For example, establish an online inventory of partner organizations' books, journals, and pamphlets

Congregation Healthy Heart Action Partnership
The main aspect of this grant is the Internet Access and Training Project. The six churches, community center, and two libraries listed below are participating in this project to provide Internet Access and training with the goal of improving access to health knowledge on the World Wide Web.

Women's Health Network for Minority Consumer Health Outreach (part of the Healthy People Library Project)
Community and Library worked together to provide health information to clinics and also a multimedia center where members of the public can visit to increase their knowlege.

Health Information for Teens Projects

Teen CARE Network
The mission of the Teen CARE Network library-community agency partnership is to improve access to quality health information for Aurora teens and their parents.

Healthy Community Partnership, DesPlaines, IL
In DesPlaines, the public library, the public health department, churches, city agencies and more have all made a commitment to work together to meet community needs. One of the health related task forces are: Healthy Community Partnership and Healthy Youth Task Force.

Additional Reading:

Coalter, F. Realising the Potential of Cultural Services: The Case for Libraries Centre for Leisure Research at the University of Edinburgh. 2001.

Community Tool Box Providing over 6,000 pages of practical skill-building information on over 250 different topics. Topic sections include step-by-step instruction, examples, check-lists, and related resources.

How Librarians and Libraries Help To break away from past evaluation models, today's tools must focus on impact indicators that reflect the social context in which individuals access and use digital community services. But to develop such context-based tools, LIS researchers need to address: how citizens and communities benefit from public library digital community services, and how these services build community.

"Methods" In: Program Planning and Proposal Writing. The Grantmanship Magazine, 1980.

Nelson, S. The New Planning for Results: A Streamlined Approach. Chicago, IL: ALA. 2001

The Library's Contribution to Your Community: A Resource Manual for Libraries to Document their Social and Economic Contribution to the Local Community. Southern Ontario Library Services. © 1998.

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