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Free Women's Health Screenings at Waukegan Public Library

Post date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:28am

On Sunday, March 23, the Waukegan Public Library will present a Women’s Health Fair featuring informational booths and free health screenings on a variety of health topics. The Fair is sponsored by Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS), the Franklin Fellowship Program, and the Library and offers RFUMS medical students hands-on experience in patient-centered care. The Fair will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Information on topics from physical fitness to breast cancer will be available from RFUMS student groups, Lake County community organizations, and the library’s own Affordable Care Act navigators and literacy staff. Medical students will offer free blood pressure checks, cholesterol and blood sugar analysis, osteoporosis screenings, breast cancer exams, vision checks and more. Health information will be available on depression and anxiety, heart attacks, nutrition, domestic abuse, and other pertinent women’s issues. ACA information will be available for those who still need to sign up for insurance by the March 31 deadline.

This Franklin Fellowship project was created because I saw two needs,” said Natalie Dale, RFUMS medical student and creator of the Women’s Health Fair. “First, the need in the community for increased understanding and awareness of women’s health issues and local resources. Second, the need of RFUMS students to connect in an interprofessional way, both within the school and with the community at large. The Women’s Health Fair provides an avenue for students to learn about women’s health in this interdisciplinary setting, while simultaneously increasing access to health care for women in need in Waukegan. For me, this fair is the ultimate win-win situation.”

Dale decided to create the fair after realizing that women’s health was an area that merited greater attention. With that in mind, she founded the Women’s Health Interest Group (WHIG), along with three other medical students.  The goal of WHIG is to promote an understanding of women’s health, through service as well as awareness events, so that every health care professional knows how to promote women’s health in their own profession or specialty. “This is a cause which I hold very dear, and will continue to work on throughout my career,” said Dale.

This will be the first women’s health fair at the Waukegan Public Library. The fair is free and open to the public and information is available in both English and Spanish. For more information, call Rena Morrow at (847) 623-2041, ext. 231.

Elizabeth Martin Stearns & Carmen Patlan | Movers & Shakers 2014 — Innovators

Post date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 4:23pm

Posted in Library Journal March 11, 2014

Library Ambassadors

Elizabeth Stearns (l.) began looking for someone to help the Waukegan Public Library, IL, connect with the local Latino community out of necessity. She had worked at the library through two censuses and saw that by 2010 Latinos made up more than half of the city’s population. “We would not stay relevant if we did not reach this community,” says Stearns.

She knew it would be a challenge. Many people did not speak English well or at all. Rates of poverty and illiteracy were high.

Stearns says she tried a few public relations campaigns but soon realized she needed someone from within the Latino community to do outreach. In 2011, she found Carmen Patlan, who was then the Human Concerns Director at a majority-Latino Catholic church with more than 5,000 members.

Patlan had no library experience but had been a longtime advocate for a community that she says “often feels voiceless.” Stearns and Patlan discovered that, together, they could accomplish a lot.

“Anyone who has seen them work together knows that is how they work best,” says Peggy Barber, a library consultant and former long-standing communications director at the American Library Association, who nominated the duo.

Patlan quickly generated a “tsunami of use” by Latinos, says Barber. Far from just creating a few ESL classes, Patlan helped expand library services to include the “Social Worker Is In” one-on-one counseling, computer literacy classes, health programming, and Leamos, a self-taught Spanish literacy program.

Patlan understood that her job was not just to create programming; she also had to change the attitudes of Latino immigrants toward the library.

“To immigrants, unless you came from a wealthy family with access to schooling, libraries are not viewed as accessible or relevant to their needs,” says Patlan. “They think of libraries as librerías, or bookstores, which they can’t afford.”

Much of the library’s success in reaching Latinos has come from the Promotora/Ambassador volunteer program, which empowers individuals with strong ties to their communities to help raise awareness around the issues that affect them. “Social media and all the technology tools will never replace actually engaging with your constituents on an ongoing basis,” says Stearns.

Last year, Stearns and Patlan won the library the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Now, the two women want to create a training institute to help libraries across the country replicate their programs.

“We discovered that it is not enough to know your customer is Latino, or whether they speak English and have a library card,” Patlan says. “You need to know how they feel about their children’s education, what their job and family aspirations are, and what worries them daily.”

Month-Long Elementary Art Show at WPL Begins March 1

Post date: Friday, February 28, 2014 - 10:37am

Students from all 15 of Waukegan’s elementary schools will once again have their artwork on display at the Waukegan Public Library, as part of Art in the Schools Month in March.

More than 300 of the best work from students in kindergarten through grade 5 will be hung and displayed throughout the library all month long.

The Waukegan Public Library Elementary Art Show kicks off on Saturday, March 1. A special reception and awards ceremony is planned on Thursday, March 13. A gallery viewing on that day will begin at 3:45 p.m., with an awards ceremony following at 4:30 p.m.

“We are very grateful to the Waukegan Public Library for once again showcasing our students’ artwork. Arts teachers and students worked very hard on putting this showcase together, and we look forward to showing off our students’ talents to the community,” said Ms. Sheila Crotty-Kagan, Enrichment Coordinator for Waukegan Public Schools.

Members from the community are encouraged to stop by the library during the month of March to view the fantastic student artwork.

Email Contact: nalajakis [at] wps60 [dot] org