Promoting nutrition literacy in children: a case study of a community partnership between a university and an elementary school




academic libraries, Community Engagement, Community Outreach, Health Information Literacy, Nutrition, children's health


Background: Health literacy outreach is commonplace within public and hospital libraries but less so in academic libraries, where it is often viewed as not integral. Academic health science libraries may collaborate with public libraries to provide public health information literacy programming or “train the trainer” sessions, but examples of academic health science librarians leading community health initiatives are still limited.

Case Presentation: This case report discusses a collaborative project between Gonzaga’s Foley Center Library, the School of Nursing and Human Physiology, and a local elementary school to promote health literacy for students and their families, led by an Academic Health Sciences Librarian. The project scope included delivering nutrition education to elementary school students and their families, but pandemic closures limited plans for in-person programming. Conversations with stakeholders led to additional project opportunities, including tabling at the local block party, collaborating on a campus visit for 5th and 6th graders, supporting middle school cooking classes, and the creation of a toolkit for elementary and middle school teachers to support curriculum about healthy body image and potential disordered eating.

Conclusion: This project demonstrates one example of how academic libraries can partner with other campus departments to support health literacy outreach in their local communities. The pandemic made planning for in-person programming tenuous, but by expanding meetings to include staff from other areas of the university, the project team was able to tap into additional outreach opportunities. This work fostered close relationships with the local elementary school, providing the groundwork for collaborative health programming in the future, though more thorough assessment is suggested for future projects.

Author Biography

Candise Branum, Assistant Professor & Health Sciences Librarian, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Assistant Professor & Health Sciences Librarian, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA


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Case Report