The Health Library was organized in 1939 with funds that became available under the Social Security Act. Initially, it was located in rooms 364 and 143-A of the State Office Building located across the street from the State House. The library was subsequently moved to Room 407 in the new Health Department Building (Cannon Building) in August 1971. The library was primarily a reference and specialized library in public health and preventive medicine and served the staff of the Department of Health. The library also provided services to state government, health workers, students and the general public. In the 1970’s the library was named after Dr. Gertrude E. Sturges, a noted public health figure in Rhode Island. The library was closed in September 2006 with the intent to consolidate library services across other health services departments and to provide a virtual library in its place. Its holdings were dispersed to appropriate repositories, a portion of which was transferred to the State Archives Division of the Office of the Secretary of State. The Department of Health Library was the only public health library in the state of Rhode Island.