Promoting Individual and Community Health at the Library—eEditions e-book

The download link for this product can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account Profile. For more information about ALA eEditions file types and how to view them on eReaders, desktop computers, and other devices, see this page.

ALA Member
Item Number
ALA Editions

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Though today’s consumers have unprecedented access to health information, its quality and veracity varies widely. Public libraries can play an important role in supporting library users in their health information seeking efforts. In this book Flaherty shows how to guide library users to high quality health information by relying on up to date, authoritative sources. She also demonstrates why taking the initiative to offer health promotion programming can be a valuable form of community outreach, serving community needs while increasing visibility. Library directors, programming staff, reference librarians, and health educators will all benefit from this book’s patron-centered stance, which features

  • a historic overview of the consumer health movement and how it intersects with public libraries;
  • guidance on finding and evaluating the best print, electronic, and app-based health information sources, with advice on keeping up to date;
  • an in-depth look at collaborative efforts to provide and sponsor simple health-related activities in public libraries, spotlighting programs in action at libraries across the county;
  • instructions on creating, planning, preparing, marketing, and evaluating a public library health program;
  • discussions of important issues surrounding health information provision efforts, including patron privacy and liability concerns; and
  • guidelines for public libraries’ role in public health efforts, including disaster preparedness.

Armed with this book’s expert advice and plentiful examples of successful initiatives, public libraries will feel empowered to make a difference in community members’ health and well-being.

List of Figures and Tables

Chapter 1    Introduction
Chapter 2     Public Libraries and Consumer Health: A Historic Perspective
Chapter 3    Health Information Provision in Public Libraries
Chapter 4    Health Programming in Public Libraries
Chapter 5     Reaching out to the Community: Opportunities for Wider Engagement
Chapter 6    Looking Ahead: Future Opportunities
Chapter 7     Onward and Upward


Mary Grace Flaherty

Mary Grace Flaherty is professor emeritus at the School of Information & Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her PhD in Information Science from Syracuse University where she was an IMLS Fellow. She has her MLS from the University of Maryland and MS in Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins University and is a Fulbright scholar. Dr. Flaherty has wide-ranging experience in a variety of library settings, and she has published extensively in the library literature.

"This is a well-researched and well-written book that librarians in almost all types of libraries will find very useful. Recommended."

"Flaherty—who is on the faculty at the University North Carolina and has extensive experience in a range of library settings, including public, academic, and medical research—brings a concise, practical approach to his subject. No health or science background is required of the reader; Flaherty's audience is generalists and library administrators."