“Many people visit their local library to borrow books, periodicals, movies, and music. But not everyone who visits a library is on a mission to find a good book to fill the time.
Libraries serve as vital community hubs and play significant roles in community-based efforts such as health literacy – a sizable proportion of Americans visit the library for health guidance. Unfortunately, many librarians and administrators are unfamiliar with the health resources available to serve patrons.
The Library’s Role in Health Literacy
According to a 2010 study, 37 percent of library users, including 57 percent of seniors living in poverty, used public library computers to seek health information.
In 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey of Americans ages 16 and older on the role libraries play in their lives and in their communities. Nearly 75 percent of the respondents said that libraries are helpful when it comes to seeking information on healthcare. Libraries helped “a lot” for learning about healthcare information for 43 percent of those ages 65 and older and 44 percent of those whose annual household income is $30,000 or below.