Wayne State University and partners awarded $475,785 federal grant to study health and wellness programming in small and rural public libraries

Dr. Christine D'Arpa,
Assistant Professor

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."

The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Its grant making, policy development and research helps libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit imls.gov.

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