Public libraries located in rural locations have unique capabilities to generate social wellbeing outcomes in their communities. Through conversations with over 200 people in eight remote towns across the US, we heard rural residents describe the “good life” in their own terms, and the ways in which their local public libraries enriched that life.

Key findings include:
• Rural residents prioritize social connection and nature over access to amenities.
• Rural libraries connect residents in a variety of ways, over time, impacting core vitality and security in their unique communities.
• Rural library directors are bonded to the community, described as selfless and engaged, and are seen as both belonging themselves and active in creating belonging in others.

Beta-tool testing is done!

But the Creation Team is still hard at work! We’ve received hundreds of evaluations from small and rural library directors across the US. They’ll be revising and reworking, as well as making more supplementary and contextual content for a relaunch of the completed tool-kit in the new year.

We’re committed to transparency and open access.

Through each phase of this project, the data generated, methods used, and resulting analysis are all stored in the Rural Library Service project in Open Science Framework. There you’ll find our initial quantitative data analysis on library service in resource poor geographies, interview methodologies, the pre-print of our primary paper and more.

Pathways to Wellbeing | Rural Library Service & Social Wellbeing