PLA & NNLM award stipends for public library workers to attend March workshop

For Immediate Release
Thu, 01/11/2018


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association


Educational program will focus on consumer health and wellness services in libraries

CHICAGO — Forty-five public library workers have been selected to receive a stipend to attend "Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community," a preconference workshop to be held at the Public Library Association (PLA) 2018 Conference in Philadelphia. The conference will be held from March 20-24, 2018, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The preconference workshop is part of Promoting Healthy Communities, a new nationwide initiative from PLA and National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) that will increase public library workers’ knowledge and skills related to consumer health services. Through activities like the preconference and stipends, PLA and NNLM are increasing the capacity of public libraries nationwide to provide quality health reference services, increase health literacy in communities, and tackle important challenges like privacy, cultural sensitivities, and fake or misleading health news.

The awardees — who represent each of eight regions of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine — will receive $500 each to cover preconference fees, travel and lodging. View the list of awardees.

The one-day preconference (Tuesday, March 20) will review core competencies of providing health and wellness services; coach participants through understanding their communities’ needs; and explore how to create fun and informative health-related programming for different age groups and special populations. Participants will learn about core reference and other materials, tips for helping library users evaluate health materials, and an action plan to put your new expertise to work.

Attendees who participate in the workshop and complete some pre/post work will be eligible to receive the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) certification offered by the Medical Library Association. The workshop is open to all Midwinter Meeting attendees, but space is limited. For more information or to register online, visit the PLA 2018 Conference website.

Throghout the nine-month Promoting Healthy Communities initiative, PLA and NNLM will assess health information needs among public librarians and share free resources and professional development opportunities that will help public library staff better serve their patrons’ consumer health needs. In early 2018, the initiative will unveil a new website for public libraries that gives them easy access to training, tools and resources for consumer health information, health literacy programming and more.

Library workers interested in health information and health literacy may also wish to attend the following events at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Denver:

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About the Public Library Association

The Public Library Association (PLA) is the largest association dedicated to supporting the unique and evolving needs of public library professionals. Founded in 1944, PLA serves nearly 9,000 members in public libraries large and small in communities across the United States and Canada, with a growing presence around the world. PLA strives to help its members shape the essential institution of public libraries by serving as an indispensable ally for public library leaders. For more information about PLA, contact the PLA office at (800) 545-2433, ext.5PLA, or

About the National Network of Libraries of Medicine

The mission of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public's access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. The program is coordinated by the National Library of Medicine and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers.