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Midwest Matters December 10th, 2022
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Public Library Collaboration Awardees

Posted by on October 25th, 2021 Posted in: Blog, From the GMR, Funding, Outreach, Public Libraries


Region 6 of the Network of the National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce three NNLM member recipients of our Public Library Collaboration Award for the performance period of October 2021 through April 2022. The proposals that were selected support partnerships between public libraries and other community organizations to build capacity for access and use of credible health information to advance health literacy and digital health literacy with meaningful engagement of diverse populations in under-resourced communities.

A recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) identified Mental Health as a priority health need in Cass County, Iowa. By partnering with Healthy Cass County, the Atlantic Public Library will receive over $18,000 to equitably purchase and distribute mental health resources both in digital as well print formats for the six Cass County libraries. Together, they also will host four county-wide programs addressing specific mental health concerns such as suicide and prevention, depression among seniors, Mental Health in Agriculture, and what to expect when you visit a therapist. Michelle Andersen, who has been the library director at Atlantic Public Library since December 2017, is acknowledged for submitting the proposal.

Stacey Knight-Davis, Professor and Head of Circulation Services at Booth Library Eastern Illinois University, is recognized for submitting the project, Health Information Literacy Training for Southeastern Illinois. EIU will receive more than $18,000 to build a health literacy component onto a digital literacy program previously designed by Illinois Broadband READY. Additionally, health literacy experts will be retained to work with the region’s public libraries and organizations to address the specific health and wellness needs of gender and sexually diverse (GSD) populations in the rural area. Educational training will be provided as well as a curriculum guide created.

In Michigan, Mercy Health St Mary’s will receive up to $25,000 to support a partnership between its Family Medicine Residency Program and the Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL) to offer a health literacy series for seniors living in the more underserved areas of the metropolitan. At these talks, a medical educator will present information alongside a community partner who will share relevant resources and services available to participants. Activities for seniors will accompany the educational talks such as exercise classes and book clubs. The wrap-up event is a Caregiver Expo. We congratulate Caralee Witteveen-Lane, Manager for Mercy Health West Michigan Regional Libraries, on her winning proposal. View the project program guide!

Image of the author ABOUT Darlene Kaskie
Darlene Kaskie, MLS, is a Community Engagement Coordinator for Region 6 of the Network of the National Library of Medicine. She connects libraries to community health partners and provides training and funding to help communities access quality health information. She has her Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) from the Medical Library Association. When she is not advocating for health literacy, she is scoring colleges for her high school senior.

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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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