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Libraries can be a health lifeline for people most at risk

Here’s a bit of news to gladden your heart this holiday season: libraries are still a source of knowledge, information and comfort to people who need them most.

“Some people would argue that libraries are old-fashioned, outmoded institutions that are irrelevant in the digital age,” said senior study author Carolyn Cannuscio, a social epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, in email to Reuters Health. “Our work shows very clearly that libraries are vital, dynamic organizations that know their patrons well and respond creatively to community needs.”

“Public libraries can provide vital support for people at high risk for health problems such as new immigrants and people dealing with homelessness, mental illness and substance use, say U.S. researchers.”

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