Phase II of the Information Collaboration project will focus on developing and implementing a training and outreach program that targets the public library and public health workforce. The goal of the program will be to foster sustainable partnerships aimed at improving the publics health through information access. The development of this project will be informed by the data collected and analyzed during the Phase I project. Initial data tells us there is great interest from both public library and public health workers in collaborating, but barriers prevent the development and sustainability of long-term partnerships. Qualitative data gathered during focus group sessions identifies some of the key barriers as a lack of understanding in what public health or public libraries do, funding constraints that prevent sustainable relationships, uncertainty around key priorities and who should be involved in relationship development. Recognizing the importance of leadership involvement, this project will emphasis programming at an administrative level. As such, we plan to develop a webinar series targeted to both public health and public library leaders. Additionally, a toolkit will be created and made available that will cover a range of topics, such as: Priorities in Public Health/Public Libraries; How to Create and Sustain Partnerships; Building Relationships into Strategy and Mission; Finding Funding; and Emerging Public Health Issues. To engage the public library and public health workforce on a deeper level, this project will also implement a Community of Practice for at least five public library and public health leaders. The Community of Practice will be designed to give participants the ability to exchange ideas, amplify success stories, and learn from each other on topics related to long-term collaboration. Outcomes from the Community of Practice will provide direction for a sustainable program that targets a larger audience of public library and public health leaders across the country. Finally, this project will build in evaluation targets that examine the impact of the training sessions and the development of public library and public health partnerships.
Midwestern Public Health Training Center