English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish


The following resources are a set of tools for community assessment, activity design, implementation evaluation for health and wellness programming for public libraries. 

Community Assessment

Getting a good idea of the demographics and health statistics in your community will allow you to gain an understanding of the health issues prevalent in your community. It will give you insight into relevant services you might provide for your community members. 

Story Maps 

To engage with a community is to learn and understand the people who live there. The Community Engagement Story Maps provide evidence-based narrative. What is their history and culture; their education and employment opportunities; their behaviors and lifestyle choices? Each community is unique.

The Community Engagement Story Maps also are a resource tool. Directly access and interact with Community Health Needs Assessment and Plans, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, U.S. Census Bureau demographic data, public library websites, news articles, and videos. Librarians and scholars aggregate, analyze, and turn relevant information into reliable knowledge.
By Using the Community Engagement Story Maps, you can confidently and respectfully solicit outreach to libraries, schools, and clinics to establish partnerships and develop relationships to improve public health through literacy and education.

Additional Assessment Resources

As part of the Affordable Care Act, all charitable 501 (c)(3) hospitals must conduct a community health needs assessment at least once every three years. You can find these reports by Googling "community health needs assessments" and the name of any charitable hospitals in your community.

Programming Ideas

Looking for programming ideas? Reach out to your Regional Medical Library to learn about programming and projects that have been successful in the past. Here are some additional resources to help get your creative juices flowing!

Developing Partnerships

Based on your community assessment you might find that there are other local organizations who are already doing some of this work, or you might have great partnerships with local groups established already. Whatever the case, partnering with community organizations can help bring in subject expertise and share resources to improve the success of your initiatives. Here are some resources to help you develop and maintain effective partnerships. 

The Community Toolbox is an excellent resource! It also includes articles in Spanish and Arabic. Here are some links to some specific resources out of the Community Toolbox that you might find useful:

The Public Library Association is doing some great work with health literacy initiatives. See what they are doing here.

Association of American Medical Colleges Community Engagement Toolkits

Evaluate your Program

Learn More About Health & Wellness

The NLM offers a wide range of classes, webinars and resources on many different health literacy topics. Take a look at our upcoming training schedule. Here are a few that you might find useful.



View recently offered webinars on the NNLM YouTube page.
Putting the Consumer Health Information Specialization to Work in Public Libraries on Demand Webinar

Resource Picks

Other Resources

Health Literacy Resources

If you're looking for quality health resources to promote to your community, consider these resources from the National Library of Medicine. This is only a small sample of the resources NLM provides. 

MedlinePlus, the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends, brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free.

Another National Library of Medicine resource, Health Reach provides health information in a variety of languages.

Check out some of the National Library of Medicine mobile applications and web sites optimized for mobile devices. You can explore iTunes and Google Play for additional applications created by NLM.