New Haven Free Public Library Augments Outreach to Residents in Need of Basic Services

by Ashley Sklar, NHFPL

A Community Engagement Award from the National Network of Library of Medicine (NNLM) will allow the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) to expand its successful partnership with Liberty Community Services (LCS) beyond Ives Library to the Fair Haven and Wilson Branch Libraries starting this winter. The All of Us grant effectively doubles the hours of LCS counselors on-site at NHFPL locations and also provides funds to augment the library’s print collections on health and wellness in English and Spanish.

The goal of the NNLM grant is to strengthen health literacy and increase access to high-quality free health resources in partnership with public libraries. Integral to the NNLM grant, LCS staff members inform their library clients about MedlinePlus.gov, a freely available federal government website that aims to provide “information on health conditions, wellness issues and more in easy-to-read language.” The NNLM promotes public libraries’ vital role as trusted sources of health and wellness information in the community. Building towards that trust, NHFPL continues to foster its successful partnership with LCS, now in its sixth year. LCS offers one-on-one consultations at Ives Main Library for those with basic needs (jobs, food, shelter, and health and wellness issues), conducting 976 appointments and serving 563 individuals in 2018.

City Librarian Martha Brogan praised the collaboration, asserting that “NHFPL and LCS will continue to seek stable funding sources to sustain their productive partnership and to extend services to all five locations.”

Liberty Community Services Hours at NHFPL:

Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St.
* Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (last appointment at 2:30 p.m.)
* Saturdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (last appointment at 12:30 p.m.)

Fair Haven Branch Library, 182 Grand Ave.
* Thursdays, 5-7 p.m.
* Alternating Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (March: 9, 23; April: 6)

Wilson Branch Library, 303 Washington Ave.
* Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m., Alternating Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (March: 2, 16, 30; April: 13, 27)

Ashley Sklar, Public Services Administrator, NHFPL, www.nhfpl.org, asklar@nhfpl.org, office: (203) 946-8835.

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