The purpose of this literature review is to examine the ways in which public libraries are supporting the health and wellness needs of their communities. Although public libraries are not commonly thought of in association with healthcare, research shows that many libraries are partnering with other community organizations and healthcare professionals to provide programs and services intended to address the health and wellness needs of their patrons. Using scholarly journals, as well as trade and news publications, the author investigated numerous methods of health-themed service provision, including: consumer health information, embedded professionals, visiting health services, mental health support, wellness-based programming, and responses to the opioid crisis. Details on these programs are provided in this review so that readers can build upon existing ideas when considering their own health and wellness service offerings. Future work connected with this topic should involve a discussion of how to increase successful partnerships between libraries and other health-based organizations, how best to obtain funding for health and wellness public library initiatives, and how to publicize library health and wellness offerings to maximize their utilization by the public.

About Author

Heather Elia is a Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) student at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. She is a member of the school's iSchool Public Libraries Initiative (IPLI) and a recipient of the Wilhelm Library Leadership Award.