Arizona Librarians Enhancing Resilient Rural Communities

Arizona Librarians Enhancing Resilient Rural Communities

The Arizona Librarians Enhancing Resilient Rural Communities initiative seeks to collaborate with rural libraries in efforts that further promote local resilience, address inequities, and build community cohesion through capacity-building and training. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the role of libraries and their staff in linking individuals, neighborhoods, and communities with much needed information, resources, and services. The Arizona Librarians Enhancing Resilient Rural Communities initiative collaborates with rural libraries to further promote local resilience, address inequities, and build community cohesion through capacity-building and training. Using a two-pronged approach, the Center for Rural Health is partnering with the Arizona Library Association to deliver a webinar training series and administer a mini-grant opportunity for small and rural libraries across Arizona. Trainings feature topics such as fundamentals of public healthcultural humility, disaster responseaddressing misinformation, and climate change adaptation and resilience. The mini-grant opportunity funds selected proposals that support programming in the priority areas of health and well-being, improving access to health care and related services, and meeting patron needs related to the social determinants of health.

Request for Proposals for 2023-24 are now closed.

Map of Rural and Small Libraries in Arizona with Social Vulnerabilities Index


Contact for more information on AZ Librarians Enhancing Resilient Rural Communities.

map of Arizona showing locations of participating small rural libraries


Anti-Bullying Program - the Toley Ranz Way 1st - 5th graders and their families learn how to strenghten self-reliance and stand up to bullying. Toley Ranz supports, encourages, models, and teachess health, productive behavior and communication in children. Families and youth will receive learning materials: books, access to e-books, and guides. This proposal emerged from talks about how to curb truency - bullying in schools as one causal factor.

PALS mobile Safely Serving Rural Coconino County Mobile library for children who may not otherwise have access to a public library: visits pre-schools throughout the county for storytime and resource circulation promoting early literacy, partnering with local community groups to address food insecurity and health disparities, provides hygiene items, programming for children with special needs, referral point for social services, reducing isolation through storytime discussions about race and BIPOC representation, reflects community with books in Dine and bilingual Spanish/English. Addresses digital divide as a free hot spot to communities visited.

Addressing Health & Well-Being through Education & Related Materials Access Specialty loaner items to  patrons across Coconino to enhance personal health and well-being by stimulating mental and physical health of library patrons: outdoor recreational equipment, explorer bags hosting STEM material and other supplies for children and young adults, musical instruments, digital cameras, outdoor and indoor board games, tools, and gardening equipment.

"Get Out" A program to get kids into the outdoors encourages children to experience the world - 11-18 year olds as an intervention to mitigate the mental health crisis among this population due to the effects of pandemic isolation. Program connects youth with their community/environment, increasing resilience, self-reliance, and life skills with outdoor activities.

flyer for Get Out with an illustration of a girl holding her arms out to the sun with hikers and a forest in the background


Healthy Choices at Your Library aims to give participants the tools they need to make educated choices about their families’ health and wellbeing by assisting children in making educated choices about health and well-being: nutrition classes, preparation of a healthy snack, STEAM club activity of executing a recipe,  cooking and salad making activity culminating in a meal and celebration, provision of healthy snacks for kids coming to the library after school, family yoga workshops. Participants will receive take home bag with items to encourage cooking at home.

Feed the Body, Feed the Mind is a monthly adult book and healthy cooking club to increase community engagement, decreasing isolation (referenced effects of pandemic). By creating communal meals, patrons will learn skills to prepare health and budgel friendly dishes and connect with community members  while also engaging in conversations about books.

Women and Self-Care Monthly educational workshops focusing on different aspects of women's health: personal safety, nutrition, exercise, emotional health, positive body image. Take home resources to reinforce topics. Project aims to support women who are in need of factual, reliable tools and educational resources to promote health living.

Growing Mentally and Physically Strong programs gardening workshops, health cooking workshops, promoting plant-based nutrition, kids yoga program, social and emotional health education programs for all ages, workshops for adults on managing stress. 

Health and Wellbeing in a Small Community provides a new collection of books and DVDs to foster health, wellness, emotional, and over-all well-being for the very small, very rural town of Hayden. Expand resource collection and programming that has been waning due to lack of funds. Outreach to the community through tabling at senior center and school. 

The HeART of Tai Chi Provide 16-week Tai Chi classes targeting individuals with high blood pressure, seniors wanting to improve their health, and anyone seeking to improve their health & well-being. 

group of people doing Tai Chi in a library


Initiating the Navajo Nation Library Early Childhood Literacy Pilot Program empowers Diné community members through literacy, technology, creativity, and personal and intellectual growth that will support and encourage multi-generational learners.

Page Strong - Programs for school-aged youth: healthy cooking, personal hygience habits, anti-bullying, and a field trip to the Children's Museum (St. George). Programs will also focus on emotional literacy, problem solving/conflict mediation, and learning skills to support healthy friendships.

Wellness for Body & Mind offers yoga, mindfulness, and meditation programs to three age groups (youth, seniors, combined) and create self-guided sessions for circulation.

Young Chefs - expands current programs (Little Chefs, Young Chefs) tailored to older children with more complicated recipes, use of kitchen equipment, further introduction to healthy foods. Goal is to broaden healthy cooking/eating to families who for generations may have relied on boxed and canned meals.