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Community Health Engagement: Current Programs


In Summer 2017, health sciences librarians, Aman Kaur and Richard James, developed lesson plans for a health literacy course geared towards adult evening students. They hope to teach the course in University-Assisted Community Schools, public schools in West Philadelphia that receive support from the Netter Center. In Spring 2018, in partnership with the School of Nursing and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Diabetes Center, Richard and Aman provided health literacy training to its inaugural Community Health Worker. Since then, the Penn Libraries has expanded its offerings supporting Penn Medicine, Penn Nursing and Penn Dental's community health engagement in West Philadelphia as well as partnering with the Wellness Division and the Center for Public Health Initiatives for more opportunities regarding campus wellness initiatives.

#citeNLM Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

In honor of the Provost's Years of Civic Engagement (2020 - 2022) and Health Literacy Month (every October), Penn Libraries is promoting the Network of the National Library of Medicine's (NNLM) #citeNLM Wikipedia Edit-a-thon initiative, which you can participate asynchronously as a virtual volunteering activity by checking out the publicly-available training slides.

Poster of the NIH and U.S. National of Libraries

2022 Virtual Health Literacy Month Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Evaluating Health Websites & Apps

In Spring 2018, Aman and Richard presented a monthly "Evaluating Health Websites and Apps" workshop at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Blanche Nixon Cobbs Creek Branch, in partnership with the Sayre Health Center. This interactive workshop  introduces to a strategy on how to evaluate health websites, apps, and news. Public libraries, public schools, nonprofit organizations, and Penn affiliates are welcome to schedule a virtual and/or in-person upon request. To schedule a workshop, contact Aman Kaur at

If you are interested in free health literacy training this workshop, I recommend that you consider these two free resources.

If you know of other free health literacy training modules that should be added to this list, please email

Wellness Interest Group

In December 2018, Aman Kaur launched the Penn Libraries Wellness Interest Group, which an informal  group comprised of library staff interested in exploring wellness topics and self-care activities. This was a year-long pilot, but the resources will still be available on a Confluence page for staff to access.

Wellness Walks

Penn Walks 2 Wellness Events

Group photo of participants of Walk With a Future Doc

Walk With a Future Doc is a medical student-run initiative sponsored by the Center for Public Health Initiatives, in which medical students share health information prior to leading walks in the Kingsessing neighborhood of Philadelphia. Walk With a Future Doc is a chapter of the national organization, "Walk With a Doc."

For the Spring 2019 Big (Wellness) Idea Challenge, the Penn Libraries, the Center for Public Health Initiatives, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative, and Walk With a Future Doc submitted a proposal for "Themed Wellness Walks", in which wellness walks leverage Penn's expertise in an assortment of topics and turn into informal learning and networking opportunities geared towards all students, staff, and faculty. In April 2019, "Weekly Themed Wellness Walks" was one of three pitches that won the challenge and will be funded via the Office of the Provost.

In October 2019, the Penn Libraries and the Center for Public Health Initiatives rolled out "Weekly Themed Wellness Walks," a university-wide initiative to encourage students, staff, and faculty to network, learn, and walk together on this historic, beautiful, and multidisciplinary campus, in which we study and/or work. In April 2020, Sakshi Sehgal, an undergraduate student leader, founded Penn Walks 2 Wellness (PW2W), a registered student organization to engage students interested in supporting Weekly Themed Wellness Walks by recruiting and identifying potential walk leaders as well as promoting the walks via various online and in-person communications channels. Through funding from the SNF Paideia Program, Brinn Gammer, an undergraduate student leader and Paideia Fellow, served as the Penn Walks 2 Wellness intern from July 2021 to May 2022.
In-person wellness resumed in August 2021. Check out the schedule of upcoming walks.

Poster for Fall 2022 Schedule of Events

#WellnessWednesday & Mindfulness Workshops

The Relaxation Room will reopened on March 2nd, 2022. From December 2018 through March 2020, the Penn Libraries collaborated with on-campus partners to host in-person yoga and meditation workshops, before shifting to virtual workshops, including the one below from August 2020, in which the Penn Libraries, Campus Health, and New Student Orientation & Academic Initiatives co-hosted during New Student Orientation.

We welcome your collaboration, if you would like to co-sponsor virtual and in-person wellness programs or interest groups. Similar programs will be posted on the Penn Libraries Online Events Calendar.

Please use this Jamboard as the virtual version of the Positive Thoughts Jar.

Cartoon Image of a woman climbing a radio tower pointing to the words "Good Vibes"