South Carolina Public Libraries & Health: Needs and Opportunities

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Noah Lenstra, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: In August 2021, the South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare partnered with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to produce South Carolina Public Libraries & Health: Needs and Opportunities. The study documented a range of ways that South Carolina public libraries support health. It also assessed what needs public libraries have as they seek to support health in their communities. Based on that analysis, a model for continuing education to support the alignment of public libraries and health was developed. As an exploratory study, South Carolina Public Libraries & Health: Needs and Opportunities highlights implications for a variety of stakeholder groups including those working in the health sector at both local and state levels, as well as library workers and administrators, funders and policy makers, and researchers. Using snowball sampling techniques, 123 library workers from across the state completed a survey in September 2021 about their health partnerships and health-related continuing education needs; an additional 19 completed a portion of the survey. Key findings include: Library capacity is limited, but the desire to support health is strong; there is a need for health partnerships to increase library capacity to support health; across the state there exist responsive health services in South Carolina public libraries; and there also exists regional and rural/urban disparities. Based on these findings the report provides a series of recommendations for continuing education and other support needs, including a Theory of Change model to build more robust partnerships between the health and the public library sectors.

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Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
public health, public libraries, South Carolina

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