Unit 3: Partnerships for Health

  1. How to find partners
  2. Partnerships with Extension (Marshall Stewart, MO)
  3. Legalities and MOUs
  4. When do you need a formal agreement or MOU?
  5. How to end partnerships
  6. Language and translation services — what medical translation services are available in the healthcare setting?

Health is a big topic in libraries right now! Librarians collect, produce, and promote health and wellness resources. There were many initiatives in libraries related to health long before COVID brought health and wellness to the foreground, but COVID solidified our commitment to health and also brought new opportunities for partnerships with other entities.

Libraries were creating health and wellness programs long before the pandemic, though. Reading itself has been a source of joy and health, cited by people in the early 1900’s as an alternative to the saloon. Today libraries offer programs including reading groups, exercise classes, and mammograms and blood sugar testing. They might hire or partner with social workers to provide direct help connecting vulnerable populations with the resources that they need.

  • a hospital or MD practice to give non-invasive physical exams, including breast cancer screening, blood draws, etc., and host educational events 
  • a social work program at a university, or through a public or private provider, to bring social workers into the library to meet with clients
  • the Farmer’s Market or local food coop to create community gardens, and invite in guest speakers for educational events on health, nutrition, gardening, and beekeeping
  • a yoga studio to provide a space for new yoga teachers practicum space, providing free yoga classes for people who wouldn’t normally be able to afford membership at the studio (and library workers)
  • a financial aid service, including the AARP, for tax or other financial planning services. Money, after all, is the cause of a lot of stress!
  • there are so many others! 

Providing Social Workers in a Library Setting

Schoefield, A. (2019). Social Workers and Librarians: Why we are BFFs.

WebJunction: Community Partnership and Collaboration Guide.

Recommended Readings:

  1. Coleman, M. & Connaway, L.S. (2019) “Public Libraries Respond to the Opioid Crisis in Collaboration with Their Communities: An Introduction,” Collaborative Librarianship 11 (1): https://www.oclc.org/research/publications/all/public-libraries-respond-opioid-crisis.html
  2. Whiteman, E. D., Dupuis, R. Morgan, A.U., D’Alonzo, B., Epstein, C., Klusaritz, H., et al. (2018). Public Libraries As Partners for Health. Preventing Chronic Disease 15. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd15.170392 
  3. Simon, M. A., O’Brian, C. A., Nava, M., Dahdouh, R., Wafford, Q. E., Mack, S., & Holmes, K. L. (2021). Public Libraries as Key Partners for Advancing Health EquityAmerican Journal of Public Health111(1), 40–42.

Partnerships with Extension

This is the video about partnerships through MU Extension. All Land-Grant universities have an Extension office that serves the state, connecting residents across the state to university resources.