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ROI: Region One Insights May 22nd, 2024
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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Posted by on February 23rd, 2024 Posted in: Uncategorized

February 26th through March 4th is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. It’s important to know that these disorders can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, and gender. There are a lot of potential factors that can cause an eating disorder, but it’s never something sufferers choose to have. The National Eating Disorders Association – Grace Holland Cozine Resource Center provides a wealth of information, including a presentation that gives basic information and statistics on eating disorders. text graphic with wording treatment matters dont wait to get help for eating disorders

What can libraries do to help? As with any tough topic, we can ensure that we have quality materials, both fiction and non-fiction, in our collection targeted towards all ages. Rather than purchasing a book just because it talks about eating disorders, look at reviews to make sure that the book isn’t conveying harmful messages or stereotypes about eating disorders.

It’s also important to make sure that materials are current, both in terms of text and images. For example, books from several years ago might not address social media or the COVID-19 pandemic and what effects they may have on eating disorders. See the end of the post for articles that talk about these factors.

In addition to books, we can guide patrons toward trusted, reliable sources that might include websites, phone numbers, and handouts. These resources could be put in a display or posted on the library’s social media. Reliable websites include the eating disorders pages on Medline Plus and the National Institute of Mental Health.  If there are local resources or support groups available, have that information on hand as well.

Ensuring materials are easily available is important. Though we as librarians strive to provide help, some patrons might not want to ask for assistance, for whatever reason. That’s why it’s important that items in the collection are properly cataloged, so that they can be easily located in the catalog and on the shelf. Including a poster of the call numbers of various tough topics, including eating disorders, allows patrons to find items if they would prefer to find materials on their own.

Below are a selection of articles about eating disorders.

This post was written by Christine Jensen, Librarian II, Galloway Branch, Atlantic County Library System, Galloway Township, New Jersey. 

Image of the author ABOUT fsteele
Faith Steele, MLS, is the Outreach and Education Librarian for Region 1 for the Network of the National Library of Medicine at the University of Maryland Baltimore. She connects libraries to community health partners, provides training and funding to help communities access quality health information.

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