The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) has partnered with national associations to carry out health programs and initiatives with public libraries, to provide health information and services to patrons. NNLM network member libraries have partnered with community partners to carry out heath related programming, at times incorporating health devices into their collections and even hosting health events ranging from fitness classes to health screenings. Our Consumer Health Coordinator, Debbie Montenegro, has written a three-part series to report on her very busy summer of working with public libraries in the South Central Region (SCR). This is the third and final part.
This year and especially during the summer, libraries across the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing with the CSLP (Collaborative Summer Library Program) theme “A Universe of Stories”. NNLM SCR Consumer Health Coordinator and NASA Solar System Ambassador, Debbie Montenegro, was invited by the LLA GODORT to be a featured speaker at the LLA conference. She was also invited to be a guest speaker on a local community podcast that focuses on Latinx (Latino/a) creatives and those working in the service industry. Debbie was delighted to be the first speaker on a scientific topic. Link to podcast: Season 1, Episode 9.
During the summer, Debbie accompanied UNTHSC Lewis Library Librarian Lorraine Sheldon and Fort Worth Academy educator Lauren Parker, to present at several public libraries and apartment resident organizations across Fort Worth and Dallas. They conducted an interactive program called Astronaut Academy: Health and Exercise, with demonstrations and hands-on educational activities that reached families and children in under-served areas. Participants learned how astronauts live, exercise, and eat in space, and even engaged in their own physical exercises!
Debbie and Lauren also presented sessions at state and national conferences for educators, encouraging cross-collaboration between subjects and professions, particularly with science and literacy. They presented the session, Mars Anomalies: Exploring Literacy and STEM Collaborations (with Health Connections) at the STAT (Science Teachers Association of Texas) Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching, the Space Exploration Educators Conference, and the Space Port Area Conference for Educators. Debbie also had the honor of being featured by the Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education program, during the last conference.
Altogether, Debbie has presented space health programming for both train-the-trainer and direct-to-consumer sessions across the South Central Region including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, (and also Florida). The programs utilized resources from NNLM, NLM, NIH, and NASA. For more information on the NNLM SCR’s Consumer Health Coordinator’s Space Health Programming, with health information resources to support science engagement, follow this link: https://nnlm.gov/scr/initiatives/regional/astronauthealth