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Midwest Matters September 25th, 2018
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Public Library Spotlight: Susan Kroll, Charlevoix Public Library

Posted by on September 4th, 2018 Posted in: Public Libraries, Public Libraries Spotlight
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Interior of the Charlevoix Public Library

Name: Susan Kroll

Education: MLS University of Buffalo

How did you become interested in focusing on Health and Wellness?

Received my BS degree in education for physically handicapped children which sparked my interest in health issues.  My previous job was at the Health Sciences Library Ohio State University.

Why is health literacy important in your community?

Our small rural community faced serious health challenges. The more the Library can educate patrons with health information the greater the chances of patient compliance. This is especially important in the winter months when the cold, snowy weather isolates members of the community who then must depend upon themselves to make the right health choices.

What’s different with a health reference interview?

Most patrons approach the reference desk with hesitation knowing they want an answer to a health question but not necessarily prepared to hear the answer. The questions I receive are usually very complex and deal with personal issues. I try to provide some initial immediate information and then do follow up research which I either send electronically or meet with them personally depending on their preference.

What’s the impact that you hope to make in your community?

Over the years I have been fortunate to partner with the health department and local hospital on various programs which I believe adds credibility to the Library’s work. The shared goal is to help patrons make better health choices and understand how to manage their health issues.  Since I work part-time, I do in-service programs for the Library staff on identifying quality health information so that knowledgeable librarians are always available.

What is your favorite health-related program or outreach that you’ve done? 

The program was titled Vitamins, Supplements and Medicine, Oh My!

Local physicians were concerned about the number of patients that might be taking supplements but not telling their health professionals. There were 2 goals for the workshop:

  • Educate patrons on potential interactions between supplements and prescription medicine
  • Identify ways to check on the quality of ingredients in the supplement

Image of the author ABOUT Bobbi Newman
Bobbi is originally from Iowa and was delighted to return here to join the GMR. Her professional background includes work in public libraries, service on a variety ALA committees and in 2011 was named a Mover and Shaker by Library Journal. She divides her time between her dog, reading fantasy and nonfiction, playing video games, and gardening.

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This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Grant Number 1UG4LM012346 with The University of Iowa.

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