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Region 4 News June 21st, 2024
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Boise Hospital Stocks Libraries with Health Books for Refugees

Posted in: #CC/Academic List, #Health Interest List, #Health Sciences List, #Public/K-12 List, All Members

A medical librarian in Idaho is reaching out to members of immigrant and refugee communities with health information using funding from NNLM.

Kathryn Vela of St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center received a $4,400 award to stock Little Free Libraries in the area with health-related books that would appeal to immigrants.

The pilot project aims to improve the health literacy of the Boise refugee community by distributing culturally appropriate health information via Little Free Libraries. Vela is outfitting key libraries in the area periodically and promoting their availability to community organizations.

More than 1,200 refugees from 18 countries settled in Idaho in fiscal year 2022, according to the Idaho Office for Refugees. Some 78 percent of them were destined for Boise. Another 1,075 refugees are projected to arrive between October 2022 and September 2023. The largest group originates from Afghanistan.

The refugees have a diversity of language needs. The top five languages spoken by the refugee population include Dari/Farsi/Persian, Ukrainian, Pashto, Swahili and Kibembe, a language spoken in Congo-Brazzaville. Arabic is another common language in the group.

Titles ordered by Vela included an explanation of breast cancer treatment in Arabic, a discussion of immunity in Swahili, and a Ukrainian title for women on hormones, sex and contraception.

“This project supports NNLM’s mission to improve public health by empowering underserved groups to make effective use of information for health decision-making,” Vela wrote in her application. “It also provides the opportunity to build partnerships with relevant stakeholders that can provide support in selecting appropriate titles and promoting the project to the refugee community.”

Some of the books are pictured here as well as Vela at a local Little Free Library.



Contact us at:
Network of the National Library of Medicine/NNLM Region 4
University of Utah
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
10 North 1900 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5890
Phone: 801-587-3650
This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

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