Details on article
|Grabeel K.L.; Wilson A.Q.
|Medical librarians and little free libraries: Connecting rural communities to health information
Grabeel K.L.; Wilson A.Q. Medical librarians and little free libraries: Connecting rural communities to health information,Health Information and Libraries Journal
|article; consumer health information; demography; health literacy; human; librarian; library; medically underserved; rural population
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|Background: Consumer health libraries connect communities to reliable and accurate health information while Little Free Libraries (LFL) provide communities globally with access to free books with a ‘take one leave one’ type policy. Objectives: To discuss how medical librarians used already established LFLs as outreach opportunities to provide consumer health books to rural locations in East Tennessee's Appalachia region in the United States. Methods: Researchers reviewed the population's literacy levels, the Index of Medical Underservice scores, and the availability of established LFLs. Twenty-two established LFL locations were selected and one new LFL was built for an eye clinic. Eleven health books were purchased for each established LFL, and 33 books were purchased for the new LFL. Results: Researchers went back to each location 5 months after delivery. 90% of the books were taken from the already established LFLs. Ten books were taken from the new LFL. Discussion: Using already established LFLs is a great opportunity to provide relevant health information to rural communities. The new LFL allowed for a partnership between the library and a rural eye clinic. Conclusion: By distributing health books to already established LFLs, researchers brought relevant health information books to rural and medically underserved communities. © 2023 Health Libraries Group.