The National Library of Medicine is reaching people where they live, work, play, and even do laundry.
Through the “Wash and Learn” program in Minnesota, librarians read to children stories that encourage healthy habits while parents learn how to use MedlinePlus to find quality health information.
“The Wash and Learn program was a pilot project funded by our Greater Midwest Region within the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and developed in partnership with Libraries without Borders,” said Amanda J. Wilson, head of NLM’s National Network Coordinating Office. Wilson leads NLM’s National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), a network of health science libraries and information centers across the country.
“Wash and Learn epitomizes meeting people where they are. It brings the library to the people rather than the other way around,” said Wilson.
Project scientist Lisa Boyd of the NNLM explains, “It’s a way to become part of the community.”
The NNLM has also been involved in bring health information to hair salons and music festivals.
Are there plans for more nontraditional ways of sharing NLM resources?
“Absolutely,” says Boyd.
Creative ways to reach diverse communities are in the works.
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