Melinda Hodges


Public libraries are a combination meeting space, educational resource, information repository, and community building organization. As such, they are already positioned to act as a valuable partner in the public health arena. This article researches the basic tenets of public health and identifies areas that public libraries could participate in productively. This article also reviews literature about the potential of public libraries as health partners, as well as what is already being accomplished from the perspective of both library/information sciences and public health studies. This will include the benefits that libraries can bring to public health work and the barriers that need to be overcome for a successful partnership. It also discusses existing methods in library service that can be used to promote public health objectives and describes several library-based public health initiatives and the opinions of Central Texas librarians regarding providing health information services to their patrons.



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