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Abstract: In recent years, the surge of refugee families to the greater Burlington area has lead to a significant increase in the minority population of the city. The Fletcher Free Library (FFL) represents a potential health information resource for this population; it is, however, little utilized. Our project sought to target one of these minority populations, the Somali Bantu, and to diminish the barriers to the use of the FFL’s resources within the Somali population itself. To reduce barriers to access of health information by the Somali Bantu population, we educated the FFl’s reference librarians on Somali culture, developed a compendium of health information in both English and Somali for inclusion within the library’s collection, and staged a one-day intervention at the Community Health Center of Burlington to present the FFL as a potential source of health information for refugee populations. Somali Bantu use of the library, as well as reference librarian confidence in serving this minority population,was objectively assessed via pre- and post-interventional surveys.


Amber Gaster, Fletcher Free Library

Mark Pasanen, MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Jill Jemison, University of Vermont College of Mediicne


Fletcher Free Library


Educational and Community-Based Programs

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Defining a Paradigm for the Dissemination of Health Information to Immigrant Populations at the Fletcher Free Library