NN/LM MAR Children’s Outreach Activities

As the new Consumer Health Coordinator, for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region, my work has led me directly into the communities we serve. There are several projects that have allowed me to witness first-hand the benefits of being in such a position. In January 2012, in collaboration with the staff of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood Branch, the program School Age Fun: Healthy Bingo and More! was developed and presented to neighborhood children and also at the local branch of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.

This was an opportunity to introduce school-aged children to the idea of establishing healthy habits for the New Year as well as provide training for library staff on integrating child-oriented health information resources provided by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) into story times and programming. Attendees ranged in age from five to twelve. Children were active participants in a Healthy Bingo game that focused on making healthy food choices; learned about proper hand washing techniques through stories and games; and explored the fun and informative MedlinePlus feature Videos & Cool Tools, which provides access to a variety of freely available, online health-related games and quizzes.

Plans for the future include further promotion of NLM resources that are geared toward children within the Middle Atlantic Region’s schools, public libraries, and community organizations. It is my hope that we can expose as many children as possible to the idea that living a healthy lifestyle is attainable. With access to fun events and freely available resources directly in their communities, I believe anything is possible.

~ Lydia Collins