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Libraries Create Healthy Communities

Libraries Create Healthy Communities Logo

When public libraries collaborate with health initiatives, they demonstrate how libraries are community hubs in Colorado.  Whether, it is kids getting their hands dirty in a library community garden, or bike repair stations at a library in a college town, libraries throughout Colorado create healthy communities.

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The Colorado State Library is exploring opportunities for partnerships and funding for programming and projects that combine libraries and health initiatives through nonprofits and interagency cooperation. To learn more about other Colorado health projects, please visit the Colorado Health Foundation.

Recent Media:

Colorado is the 8th Healthiest State

Executive Summary Re: Libraries Create Healthy Communities

Health Care Comes to Libraries: Patrons can check out a book and get a check-up in one visit


How Can My Library Get Involved?

We’d like to hear from you about your library and how it collaborates with health initiatives.

Jacqueline Murphy is collecting anecdotes and information about how libraries around Colorado are working with their communities to promote healthy living and local or state-wide health initiatives. If you work in a library and want to share your story, please contact Jacqueline to discuss how your library is doing any or all of the following or fill out the online survey:

  • How is the library promoting health access, information, and/or assistance (ie, healthy cooking classes, “Ask a Nurse” in the Library, etc. )?
  • What is the constituency being served (is it an underserved population --homeless, jobless, low income, etc.)?
  • What problem is being solved?
  • Why is your library providing this service?
  • What is it that you are doing that could be replicated elsewhere?

Your input is invaluable to us in showing how libraries create healthy communities!


Raise Awareness for Esophageal Cancer - April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month! ECAN will be distributing Bookmarks to all of the Colorado libraries with Life Saving information and a QR code for a free downloadable Guide for Patients. For more information about the organization and their mission, please view this webinar archive.


Libraries and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

President Obama recently called upon public libraries, as community hubs, to provide information to patrons and the business community about the ACA, as deadlines approach for implementation of this federal health care legislation.

What is the ACA, and how does it affect my library?  

The federal ACA was signed into law in March of 2010 for health insurance enrollment.  Colorado opted for a state-based model, resulting in a Colorado insurance marketplace through Connect for Health Colorado.

The marketplace begins open enrollment October 1, 2013; coverage starts January 1, 2014.

As providers of internet access and digital literacy training for people who lack internet connections at home, libraries can expect increased demand for computer services.  For Spanish-speaking consumers, Connect for Health Colorado is also a resource.

Webinars and Web Resources

What support exists for Colorado  libraries?

Support for Libraries as Employers

CLiC is tracking developments in the ACA from the perspective of a Colorado employer.

Please visit CLiC's web page for the latest.

Support for Library Staff Assisting the Public

Your public library does not need to become expert in the ACA implementation, but rather serves in the role of information provider for the ACA, as it would be for federal tax forms and other government programs, and referring inquiries to resources for guidance on completing the necessary forms and procedure.

Consider convening a community meeting to impart information about the ACA. See this example of a meeting in Arapahoe County for ideas.

Sample Meeting Invitation (DOCX)

Sample Meeting Agenda (DOC)

For more information on community meetings, questions about the ACA, or support, please contact Jacqueline Murphy.

Support for Public Health and Health Care Providers

Please contact Dana Abbey, Health Sciences Library
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus


FAQs about the ACA in Colorado



Still have questions? Contact Jacqueline Murphy via email or by phone at (303) 866-6891.

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