A guide to sexual and reproductive health information

For Immediate Release
Wed, 03/01/2023


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing & Media

American Library Association



CHICAGO — The need to find accurate information about sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, has never felt more urgent. At the same time, mis- and disinformation proliferates as never before. Libraries are community organizations uniquely positioned to cut through the miasma and provide facts about sensitive health topics such as contraception, fertility, pregnancy options, and sexually transmitted infections. Geared towards public libraries but applicable to other settings, “The Library's Guide to Sexual and Reproductive Health Information,” published by ALA Editions, is a straightforward and non-judgmental resource that will support library workers in providing trustworthy guidance to patrons through fact-friendly reference and program services. Surveying core sexual and reproductive health concepts, this guide from reference expert Barbara A. Alvarez:

  • introduces the basic concept of sexual and reproductive health as a human right and the framework of reproductive justice, incorporating discussion of relevant legislation and historical concepts;
  • presents practical collection development and reference strategies, highlighting a wide variety of books, websites, databases, and other resources that provide evidence-based sexual and reproductive health information;
  • shares key facts and guidance on how to provide inclusive, non-judgmental services to all communities, including LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented populations;
  • ideas for addressing community health needs through educational programs, services, and collaborations with local health centers and organizations; and
  • includes suggestions for continued reading and education, with an appendix of recommended resources.

Alvarez is an instructor in Library and Information Science. As a PhD student in Information Science, Barbara's research focus is information behavior and reproductive health information. She has worked in libraries in Illinois and Wisconsin, where she developed library-community collaborations. Her first book, “Embedded Business Librarianship for the Public Librarian,” was published by ALA Editions in 2016. She is a 2022 Library Journal Mover & Shaker award recipient and a 2011 Spectrum Scholar.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Editions | Neal-Schuman publishes resources used by library and information professionals, scholars, students, and educators to improve programs and services, build on best practices, enhance pedagogy, share research, develop leadership, and promote advocacy. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a variety of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions | Neal-Schuman at editionsmarketing@ala.org.