Celebrate Health Literacy Month with expanded toolkit from NNLM and ALA

For Immediate Release
Wed, 10/24/2018


Heather Cho

Campaign Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office



CHICAGO -- The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) and the American Library Association (ALA) have updated the Libraries Transform Health Literacy Toolkit with brand-new resources to help library professionals raise awareness of how libraries provide trusted health information to their communities.

The free toolkit provides key messages, program ideas and downloadable marketing materials, including bookmarks and social media graphics, for libraries to use as they promote health literacy during Health Literacy Month (October) and throughout the year. The new additions to the toolkit cover a wide-ranging array of health literacy topics including genetics, family history, clinical trials, citizen science projects, customizing care and student well-being. The toolkit also covers subjects such as aging, nutrition and chronic illness.

Public, school, academic and special libraries play a key role in making quality health information accessible to all. Libraries provide their communities with opportunities to improve upon health outcomes through health outreach, programming and partnerships with regional and local agencies, as well as offering free access to quality health information and databases that can improve one's quality of life.

Helen Osborne M.Ed., OTR/L, started Health Literacy Month in 1999 to raise awareness of the importance of making quality health information accessible to all. Health Literacy Month is observed annually in October. More than 90 million U.S. adults have low health literacy, which measures the extent to which someone can access necessary health services, as well as how proficiently he or she can understand pertinent health information.

The Health Literacy Toolkit is a partnership between NNLM and ALA through the Libraries Transform public awareness campaign. NNLM is a core component of the National Library of Medicine’s outreach program. Libraries Transform is an initiative of the ALA’s Communications and Marketing Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.