Moving toward Health Justice in the COVID-19 Era: A Sampling of US Public Libraries’ Efforts to Inform the Public, Improve Information Literacy, Enable Health Behaviors, and Optimize Health Outcomes

Morgan Adle, Jane Behre, Brian Real, Beth St. Jean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has both illuminated and intensified health disparities in the United States over the past 2 years. Our public libraries and librarians have responded nimbly and innovatively to this evolving, unprecedented health crisis by adapting existing and developing new resources, programs, and services to address the public’s need for information and beyond. In this article, we share a sampling of libraries’ COVID-19–related offerings, which include providing access to reliable information and information technologies, information literacy training, programs to improve people’s mental and physical health, and resources enabling people to engage in important health behaviors such as wearing masks and self-testing. Some libraries have also offered programs focused specifically on health disparities and racism experienced by particular populations. Our exploratory study revealed that libraries’ offerings span the entire equality-equity-justice continuum, with relatively fewer offerings falling into the justice segment, suggesting the importance of further investigations into such initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-47
Number of pages22
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Volume93
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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