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Region 7 Update April 2nd, 2023
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Member Spotlight: Julie Holden

Posted by on July 15th, 2022 Posted in: Blog
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Julie Holden Julie Holden is the Assistant Library Director at Cranston (RI) Public Library. Over the years, Cranston Library has been a great partner that participated in several NNLM R7 opportunities including funding, training, and borrowing a Graphic Medicine Book Club Kit.

Would you rather travel back in time to meet your ancestors, or to the future to meet your descendants?

I would definitely travel back in time to meet my ancestors. A bonus would be that I could travel to those countries they lived in as well. I suspect the struggles of my ancestors would make me feel grateful about how modern everything is today.

What about your work do you most want to share with the NNLM community?

The Cranston Public Library has six locations in Cranston, which is located in the middle of the state.  Each branch has a unique neighborhood feel and residents are particularly fond of their local branch library. We enjoy talking to and providing library services not only to Cranston residents but to all Rhode Island residents who visit us from each corner of the state. As Assistant Library Director, I am responsible for day-to-day operations for the system and helping the director with decision-making and strategic planning. Every day brings something different and we both handle all the frequent building issues (our oldest building is approaching 200 years old!) that crop up.

Table with health information at a community health fair with a table cloth that says "Healthy Families at the Cranston Public Library"

Tabling an event at the “Community Health Celebration Night” in Cranston

What special projects are you working on?

With the help of a NNLM grant for Health Information Outreach in Languages other than English, we were able to start our “Healthy Families” initiative, which brought health-focused programming to our patrons over the last several months. Our librarians have all received training on how to find multilingual and multicultural health information, presented to us by Bennie Finch from NNLM R7. Our patrons have had lots of positive comments about this new focus. We recently coordinated with our Senior Center to hold our first ever community health fair, which brought together various agencies from around our city to showcase the services they provide, from the Substance Abuse Task Force to the Alzheimer’s Association. It was a great event.

Touch screen kiosk open to MedlinePlus en Espanol and a sign that says "Health Information Kiosk"

Touchscreen kiosk for MedlinePlus at the Cranston Public Library.

What is your favorite NLM resource?

We recently installed two touchscreen kiosks in two of our libraries that go directly to MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en Español. For public libraries, those resources are key to giving library patrons current, factual information, and we offer free printing from those databases as well.

How does the NNLM help you do your work?

Being able to reach out to our librarian colleagues at the UMass Chan Medical School library has been wonderful. They are knowledgeable about what is going on in the region and product offerings that can help us with our work.

What is one word that you would use to describe the NNLM?


A view of Newport, RI from the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. Sign for "Sunset Trail" at the beginning of a trail overlooking the ocean on a sunny day.

A view of Newport, RI from the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

What is the coolest thing about your state?

I would say the coolest thing about Rhode Island is how beautiful it is. There is some man-made beauty in the various bridges that cross the bay, interesting architecture, and lots of public art installations around the state.  But it’s the nature-made vistas, from the coastline and the bay dotted with sailboats, and the farmlands with cows and hay and apple orchards, that really steal the show and make this a lovely place to live.

NNLM R7 enjoys the chance to spotlight the amazing things our members are doing and the different ways that they work with us. If you or your organization is interested in participating in the Member Spotlight series, please email nnlm-region7@umassmed.edu.

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NNLM Region 7
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This 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 UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School.

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