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Employing Community Wellness Liaisons to Create Public Libraries That are Inclusive for Five Diverse Utah Communities

This project has been designed by the Community Faces of Utah (CFU), a collaborative group established in 2009. CFU members include leaders of the Best of Africa (serving African immigrants/refugees), Calvary Baptist Church (serving primarily African Americans), the Hispanic Health Care Task Force (serving Hispanics/Latinos), the National Tongan American Society (serving Tongans and other Pacific Islanders/Native Hawaiians), and the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake (serving American Indians/Alaskan Natives), as well as leadership and staff of the Community Collaboration and Engagement Team (CCET) of the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science, the University of Utah Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and the Utah Department of Health. CFU has 10 years of experience in collaborating with researchers and each other in carrying out health education and research projects. A particular strength of the collaborative is our culture of learning with and from each other and those with whom we collaborate. In this way, we efficiently learn ways in which programs can be implemented similarly across the five communities and ways in which programs need to be tailored for each community. Thus, the CFU collaborative provides a unique opportunity to synergistically and simultaneously learn with five diverse communities. Evidence of need for the project The need for the proposed project was the outcome of a prior CFU project which was funded by the NNLM MidContinental Region and titled “Building Usage of Public Libraries as a Source of Health Information in Five Diverse Utah Communities.” For that project, we held Community Engagement Studios (CE Studios; Joosten, et al, 2018) with community “experts” from each CFU community; these individuals are experts by virtue of their lived experience and participated in the CE Studios as consultants. We also held a CE Studio consultation with librarians from Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County libraries in the areas where CFU community members live. Finally, we held a stakeholder workshop with CFU and the librarians to discuss the findings from the CE Studios and to draft a plan for increasing usage of public libraries and library programs as sources for health information by members of the CFU communities. The primary component of this plan is the proposed 6-month pilot program for hiring members of the five CFU communities (1/community) to serve as Community Wellness Liaisons at city and county libraries.

Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
African Americans or Black
American Indian
Latino or Hispanic
Native Hawaiians
Pacific Islanders
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
General public
Project Lead:
Louisa Stark
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 

Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
Oct 23, 2019 to Apr 30, 2021
Project Status: