Submitted by Patty Lunsford, Midwest Chapter Board Representative-at-Large, Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, Lafayette, Indiana
“The State Liaisons Committee shall serve as a conduit for communication between the chapter and state health sciences library associations, local library groups and library science educational programs. It shall serve as a mechanism for chapter officers and committees to distribute information and receive feedback at the state and local level.”
In the last issue of Midline, I mused about aspirations which I hold for professional development and enhancement – not merely personally, but for all our libraries. There are so many services, resources, ideas, perspectives, and challenges which we all share across our diverse types of libraries and the populations and communities we serve.
In resorting back to my hopes of initiating a “buddy system” with public and school libraries, a wonderful venture has also been presented in Indiana, which was reported and expounded upon this week on our State’s Public Library listserv.
One of our public libraries (Rushville IN) announced that instead of conducting the traditional collaborative summer reading program in which most of Indiana’s public libraries participate, Rushville is creating Hoosier Quest in conjunction with Indiana’s Bicentennial celebration. As Rushville’s Director Sue Prifogle wrote with humor and enthusiasm, “Not only is our Hoosier Quest reading, it’s also (ta da) a QUEST!” She went on to explain how she divided the State of Indiana into five geographic regions.
The quest would challenge participants (she stressed hopefully as families, not simply as individuals) to complete at least three out of five tasks for each region of the state. Included in those tasks will be obtaining a bookmark or pamphlet or unique item, from a diverse place (not necessarily a public library) which had been contacted, either by mail, phone, email, or a visit. Whenever feasible, families would earn additional points for actually visiting a library or place and having a photo taken with a flat version of one of Rushville’s own library mascots or with the personnel at the library or place they visit.
This seemed like a perfect and fun way to integrate medical libraries into this public library venture. I inquired as to including my medical and School of Nursing libraries as prospective destinations for my region of the State of Indiana (Northwest). While this likely seems a small venture, especially for those of you whose academic and medical libraries are already collaborating visibly and actively in your communities, for me/us, it also seems like a user-friendly way for folks to overcome their aversion to hospitals.
I would also like to ask—not only for my libraries, but for all of yours as well, several questions regarding services and events you offer in these areas: do you have, or plan to create, special collections for veterans suffering from PTSD, or special-interest groups (Alzheimer’s caregiver support groups, cardiac health, any special areas)? Do you have museums or special shelving for antiquated medical equipment, historic objects, classic books, unique collections? Do you actively promote your libraries and welcome the public to explore your resources? All of these aspirations and recommendations from colleagues of my four hospitals’ medical, nursing, and allied staffs have crossed my desks and been posted in my emails.
I am anxious to learn how you folks creatively and enthusiastically develop these, or similar, resources and collections, and serve your patrons.