The Greater Midwest Region office is leading a partnership between the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the Public Library Association on a national initiative, titled Promoting Healthy Communities. This initiative will increase public library staff knowledge and skills related to consumer health services through promoting and expanding professional development opportunities through NNLM and increasing awareness of this topic. Activities to take place during this nine-month initiative include: release of a website for the initiative, monthly email newsletters, articles published on Public Libraries Online and in Public Libraries magazine, promoting NNLM resources to public libraries, sponsorship of Consumer Health Information Specialization for public librarians, podcasts, and programming at ALA Midwinter and PLA 2018.
Beyond these activities, the partnership will offer NNLM a better understanding of the needs of our public library colleagues and provide us with information necessary to support our public library members. This information will be collected through an assessment of health information needs of among public library staff and input from a task force assembled for this initiative, comprised primarily of public librarians. This partnership is intended to build a foundation for future collaboration with public library organizations, and ideas for building off of this partnership will be explored at the end of the initiative.
Check out PLA’s announcement of this initiative on the American Library Association news page, available online. This project was funded by the Greater Midwest Region, and progress will be shared through our blog periodically by myself and Bobbi Newman, our Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist. Watch for updates throughout the project!