Friday, March 10, 2017

Portland Public Library receives $50,000 grant for health information initiative

Portland, Maine - Portland Public Library (PPL) is pleased to announce it has received a $50,000 grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM). These funds will support programs to bridge the gap in access to health information for our patrons, focusing on the most vulnerable members of our community -- teens, immigrants and refugees, and patrons experiencing homelessness.  

This project is grounded in three critical goals: improve access to reliable health information for underserved populations, strengthen partnerships with local health organizations, and improve health literacy for library patrons. To accomplish this, the library will offer public health information workshops, targeted use of specific online resources, and the efforts of a health outreach specialist. Access to high quality health and understandable information, can help members of these groups have greater confidence in making their health decisions. "Public libraries transform lives. We believe that by bridging gaps in access to health information, the community’s health will be stronger. Informed patients can make better decisions about their health and wellness," states Sarah Campbell, Executive Director of Portland Public Library.

Portland Public Library provides resources and experiences to build community awareness, improve access to information, and increase civic engagement. In 2014, PPL identified health as a focus area to stimulate community health literacy and convene community conversations about key health issues. We offer workshops, community discussions, and direct interaction with health professionals and organizations, in order to build awareness around health information resources and provide opportunities for deeper engagement around the issues most critical to our community.  

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has been a center of information innovation since its founding in 1836. The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe. It also supports and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology. In addition, the Library coordinates a 6,000-member National Network of Libraries of Medicine that promotes and provides access to health information in communities across the United States.

Developed resources reported in this press release are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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