PlaneTree Health Library services in the South Bay are affiliated with the international Planetree Alliance, which first began in San Francisco in the late 1970’s. Planetree’s patient-centered, patient-empowering approach to care was a remarkably maverick idea at that time, and our PlaneTree Health Library was the second public, patient-focused library affiliated with the Alliance. Initially sponsored by San Jose Medical Center, its doors opened in San José in 1989. Library collections were housed in a lovely Eastlake Victorian near downtown San José. Invaluable health information and compassionate, personalized assistance was offered in Spanish and Vietnamese as well as English. Patrons researched their medical concerns in a collection that soon became quite extensive in both breadth and depth.
For nearly two decades, we relied extensively upon support from sponsors and various government and corporate grants in addition to donations from patrons. PlaneTree Health Library was a program of The Health Trust from 1996 to 2002. In 2003, it was sponsored by Good Samaritan Hospital, and relocated to the hospital’s Mission Oaks campus in Los Gatos.
PlaneTree Health Library a has been an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit relying on community support since 2007. A 2008 grant from the California State Library funded an initial partnership with the Santa Clara Library District, and from 2011-2017 our library reference services were housed at the Cupertino Public Library.