Wayne State University School of Information Sciences Assistant Professor Christine D’Arpa, along with colleagues from the University of Oklahoma and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, were recently awarded a three-year, $475,782 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for their research, “Community Health and Wellness: Small and Rural Library Practices, Perspectives and Programs.” The team will study health and wellness programming at small and rural public libraries in Michigan, Vermont, Oklahoma and North Carolina, with the goal of learning how those institutions address health and wellness through public programs.
The research will be used to develop and disseminate a model that will inform libraries about successful strategies and common obstacles associated with developing new health and wellness programs and how to assess and build on existing programs.
“Libraries are initiating conversations and developing activities with an eye toward cultivating health and wellness in their communities. In the process, they are challenging traditional ideas of what counts as health literacy work,” said D’Arpa. “This project will let us study how small and rural public libraries in four different states are developing health and wellness programs in an effort to build health literacy.“
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