Public Library Association, National Network of Libraries of Medicine join in supporting the NIH’s All of Us Research Program

For Immediate Release
Mon, 03/04/2019


Laurence Deutsch

Manager, Communications

Public Library Association (PLA)

CHICAGO — The Public Library Association (PLA) has expanded its partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), a program of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). In 2017, the two organizations launched Promoting Healthy Communities, a nine-month project to assess health information needs among public librarians and share free health literacy resources. The goal of Promoting Healthy Communities is to increase public library workers’ knowledge and skills related to consumer health services.

Starting this month, PLA and NNLM will team up to raise awareness of the National Institute of Health’s All of Us Research Program, a historic effort to gather data from one million or more people living in the U.S., to accelerate research and improve health. By taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology, researchers will uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine. This new effort will be a cornerstone of the All of Us and NLM partnership.

At the heart of All of Us is a drive to address inequity in the health care system, which compelled the PLA Board of Directors to approve a formal partnership in late 2018. This work aligns with the recent addition of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice as a goal in PLA's 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. Public libraries can help improve health outcomes for all populations within their community, particularly those who have been historically underrepresented in biomedical research and medical advancements, through health outreach, programming, and partnership.

Over the next 15 months, PLA and NNLM will work together to support public libraries to increase health literacy, address health research inequities, and strengthen community partnerships with health advocates and providers. The partnership will support community engagement around All of Us by elevating the role of public libraries in locating reliable health information and creating connections through library spaces and technology. 

Through the partnership with PLA, NNLM will be able to advance its goal of supporting public libraries in meeting the health information needs of their communities by providing:

  • health information training for public library staff;
  • funding and other resources to support health programming and activities, including digital literacy training; and
  • connections to medical libraries and other NNLM network members in their area.

Additional information about All of Us can be found at Information on PLA’s health initiatives can be found at

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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 10,000 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 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 5PLA, or

About the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM)
The mission of the 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.

Precision Medicine Initiative, All of Us, the All of Us logo, and “The Future of Health Begins with You” are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.