Libraries and the Affordable Care Act

For Immediate Release
Tue, 10/21/2014


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Ever since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, staff from public libraries throughout the country have been working hard to provide access to information about the law while educating their communities about how implementation affects them. But defining the expectations and limitations of libraries’ roles regarding support of the new law remains a challenge.  The first guide written specifically for library staff, “Libraries and the Affordable Care Act: Helping the Community Understand Health-care Options,” published by ALA Editions, offers best practices, advice and examples of library responses from the first open enrollment period (October 2013-March 2014). Francisca Goldsmith provides clear and explicit guidance related to the ethical and legal aspects of Affordable Care Act policy support through local library services. Published in advance of the second open enrollment period, this resource:

  • analyzes the nearly 20 different state-level marketplace regulatory ecosystems to find common ground, then pathfinds the quickest routes to state-level information for each state;
  • addresses the diverse needs of public library communities in both urban and rural settings, while examining staff capacities at various libraries;
  • encourages a pragmatic approach through the inclusion of “to do” lists at the end of each chapter;
  • provides strategies and tools for building community healthcare awareness.

Goldsmith worked in public and academic libraries, both in the United States and Canada, for more than 25 years before moving into full-time library staff development consulting and instruction, much of it through California’s IMLS-funded Infopeople Project. Most recently, that instructional work has focused on supporting public library staff and administrators in responding to community needs for access to health-care information, both related to Affordable Care Act policies and the changing technology landscape of health-care delivery in rural, immigrant and other socially isolated communities. Her library experience and consulting includes frontline reference work, collection management, branch services management and teen services development and advocacy. She has given many presentations on multiple literacies, serving underserved communities and social media use for community and staff development. This is her third book for ALA Editions.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or