National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Libraries Build Healthy Communities

In recent years Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has identified public health as a growing area of need. Through its 59 branches and Central Library, BPL offers an array of programs that target health education and outcomes, but does not have a coordinated approach to the types of health-related programs offered or a system for making referrals to trustworthy health resources, including online information and community organizations. To achieve its health outreach goals, build capacity across its system and generate new health literacy programs, BPL proposes: 1) creating program kits that provide librarians the materials and curricula to implement health literacy programming at branches through the Brooklyn; 2) training 120+ librarians through a two-day staff conference entitled “Libraries Build Healthy Communities,” that will combine learning, networking, and an ideation session; and 3) supporting branch librarians to immediately implement programs ideas gained at the conference. This proposed project will be managed by BPL’s Outreach Services department established in 2013 to build relationships with local community-based organizations and government agencies, and to offer specialized information, assistance and programming for traditionally under-served and vulnerable populations including immigrants, veterans, older adults, and people experiencing homelessness, and families and individuals impacted by incarceration.
Identify any specific population(s) this project will serve: 
Behavioral/Social Determinants of Health
Maternal Health
African Americans or Black
Latino or Hispanic
Identify roles of participants this project will serve: 
General public
Project Lead:
Catherine Fukushima
Funding Source: 
Project Funding:
Federal Fiscal Year: 
Funding Amount: 
Funding Period:
May 1, 2019 to Apr 30, 2020
Project Status:
In Progress


Healthy Communities Conference-Day 2
Activity Description:
The second day of the conference was focused on getting participants inspired. The morning sessions provided participants with opportunity to learn from their colleagues about successful programs they facilitated, developed or led at the library. Participants were also able to share their ideas for how to integrate health literacy into the work of the library.
Activity Dates:
Activity Type:
Demos, Exhibits/Health Fairs, Career Development, Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops, Lectures, Panels, Presentations, Focus Groups
Partner Organization(s):
The second day of the conference provided opportunities for participants to engage in activities such as taking a tour of Central Library Health Collections and attending sessions on topics like providing social support for patrons experiencing life challenges and consumer health programs and health reference.
Healthy Communities Conference-Day 1
Activity Description:
The first day of the conference focused on building partnerships and hearing from experienced community health providers.
Activity Dates:
Activity Type:
Exhibits/Health Fairs, Career Development, Classes/Courses/Trainings/Workshops, Lectures, Panels, Presentations, Focus Groups
Partner Organization(s):
This first day of the conference provided opportunities for partnership networking and sessions from community partners regarding topics such as Immigrant Access to Health Care, Health Outreach and Programming in Your Community and Serving Patrons with Mental Illness.