Two public libraries have won the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme award for contribution to community health. Congratulations and a prize of US$1,500 go to public libraries in Africa and Europe:
Hoima Public Library in Uganda, whose ‘Improving Community Health through ICT’ service provides free internet access and computer and online research training for health workers and other library users. In February 2012, just two years after the service was launched, a survey found a dramatic increase in health seeking behaviour among library users: over 38% more youth, 39% more men and 29% more women were using the library to seek health information. The survey also found that over 20% more mothers who use the library now had mosquito nets in their homes and over half were sleeping under the nets regularly.
A county library in Romania has started a First Aid Toolkit Service to provide First Aid training to people across Romania through a network of 86 libraries. The service is staffed by volunteers and works in partnership with the Red Cross, hospitals and ambulance services. Over 90 librarians are now certified First Aid trainers and in just one year trained over 2,000 people to administer First Aid. The service also includes a website where people can learn First Aid skills online, keep up to date and download training materials.
These EIFL Innovation Awards recognize public library services that use ICT to improve lives and livelihoods. The awards are open to all public and community libraries in developing and transition countries visit their website.
With thanks to Jean Fairbairn from EIFL for this contribution.
Jean Shaw, Phi