Libraries touch virtually everyone in their communities across the entire economic spectrum.  Traditionally, people visited Public Libraries to check out books and materials and access information. During the past 25 years however, many communities’ needs shifted to include information about and access to a wider range of information and social services.

Libraries are crucial assets at the center of our communities, and as trusted institutions they can serve as physical hubs for connectedlearning and communitytelehealth, combining local support with global resources. Literacy and health literacy must be co-equal predicates to learning and wellbeing.

Many of a community’s most needy residents spend their days in the Library. Some bring their questions about and need for social services directly to librarians, and others say little. But their need is apparent to the library staff they get to know and trust through daily interaction.

While friendly and committed librarians offer a wealth of information, they’re simply not trained in the provision of social services, primary healthcare or chronic disease management.

Libraries help residents – including those with limited incomes and educations – find jobs, obtain health information, and connect to government services and benefits. They’re fulfilling what is sometimes called their “shadow mandate”, supporting and complementing the work of other public agencies.

Where libraries are in need of social workers and other health professionals, CTC can facilitate a more flexible, dynamic approach, and intends to do so without extracting Library resources.