All Library locations will be closed on Sat, July 4 in celebration of Independence Day. We will re-open for regular hours on Mon, July 6. Looking for something to read, watch, or listen to? Explore our download and streaming resources and share with friends.
Portland Public Library is a proud participant of Pride Week, and we are thrilled to be presenting an entire day of events dedicated to those affected by HIV/AIDS. On June 17 at the Main Library, PPL will host twelve panels of the AIDS Quilt presented by the NAMES Project of Northern New England. Conceived in 1985, by Cleve Jones, the Quilt was meant to commemorate those who had lost their lives to HIV/AIDS. Sadly, for many, the Quilt was the only opportunity for survivors to remember their loved ones.
For more on the Quilt, be sure to check out the book, The Quilt: Stories from the Names Project by Cindy Ruskin. The panels will be on display in the library for one day only, so be sure to stop by the Atrium and take a look.
Our afternoon author talk for that day is Deborah Freedman, author of Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt: Stories from Maine. Debb has traveled throughout our state for ten years sharing the Quilt and sharing the stories of the Quilt. Deborah Freedman will be speaking at noon in the Rines Auditorium. We are so happy to have her and her stories!
Ralph Cusack, who will speak about activism around HIV/AIDS
Charlie Grindle, who will give the prospective of a first responder
Dr. Lani Graham, who will discuss the public health aspects
Myles Rightmire, who will discuss the medical and health response
Kelly Arbor, who will give a personal perspective
This will definitely be an informative panel, which will be followed by a discussion between the audience and the panelists. PPL is truly excited to be hosting the second annual Pride week history event! For information on other Pride events happening throughout the month of June, check here.
Our June 17 events were made possible by the following great sponsors:
“Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”(Healthy People). According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 12 percent of adults have proficient health literacy. This is problematic as literacy impacts health knowledge, health status, income level, occupation, education, housing, and access to medical care (NNLM).
Here at PPL we have plenty or resources to help you find health information:
Health and Wellness Resource Center - provides information on the full range of health related information, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative medical practices. For all levels of inquiry.
Health Source: Consumer Edition – provides access to nearly 80 health magazines, including American Fitness, Better Nutrition, Harvard Health Letter, Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Prevention, Vegetarian Times, and more. Contains Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary. Also included is access to health-related pamphlets and more than 100 reference books covering topics such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, drugs and alcohol, women’s health, and more.
Here at PPL we want to ensure that you have the best access to medical information you can understand, don’t hesitate to contact a librarian if we can be of assistance!
A rich online resource for all levels of inquiry, this comprehensive consumer health collection provides authoritative information on the full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative and complementary medical practices. Articles, streaming videos featuring medical experts, reference books, news feeds, links to key health websites, and more. – See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/research/?related_highlight=5601#sthash.zrjAAtiS.dpuf
Health and Wellness Resource Center »
A rich online resource for all levels of inquiry, this comprehensive consumer health collection provides authoritative information on the full range of health-related issues, from current disease and disorder information to in-depth coverage of alternative and complementary medical practices. Articles, streaming videos featuring medical experts, reference books, news feeds, links to key health websites, and more.
- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/research/?related_highlight=5601#sthash.zrjAAtiS.dpuf
In 2010, a highly regarded group of physicians, brain scientists, social scientists, and other experts went on record with their expert opinion that public libraries likely promote health. Now, one Maine physician, working with Portland Public Library, has just completed the first-ever direct and broad research on the topic – and proved their instincts were on the right track.
Maine physician Dr. Sam Zager was the driving force behind the Health and Libraries of Public Use Retrospective Study (HeLPURS), the first broad investigation of health and public libraries. The study investigated whether a link between library use and health could be quantifiably established. Dr. Zager’s interest in the intersection of health and public library use grew out of his involvement in library advocacy efforts in Boston several years ago. He noticed that the prior research into health and libraries was sparse and narrowly focused on health literacy. No studies existed to determine the relationship between library use and individuals’ health profiles.
Individuals who used the library moderately were nearly three times more likely to successfully quit smoking
The project results provide evidence that public library use has quantifiable associations with health, particularly in the areas of substance abuse and depression-anxiety disorders. The most dramatic finding is that moderate or higher use of public libraries is associated with tobacco cessation. Individuals who have ever been smokers and who used the library at least moderately – seven or more items checked out per active year – were more than two times more likely to have successfully quit smoking, compared with smokers who used the library less.
“HeLPURS offers the first direct evidence that public libraries could be health-promoting spaces,” Dr. Zager says. “This was out-of-the-box thinking, but now these results beg for further research. The current findings also have important implications when estimating return on investment in public libraries in Maine and across the country.”
Dr. Zager’s sentiments are echoed by PPL Executive Director Steve Podgajny. “What the HeLPURS study doesis to clinically isolate a specific and very important health relationship that public libraries have with individuals and the community as a whole. The study has many ramifications one of which is how public libraries might serve more effectively as a vehicle for public health funding and goals.”
The HeLPURS project allied Dr. Zager with the Library’s Health and Institutional Research Teams, starting in 2012. The study, conducted in Fall 2013, was funded by a generous grant from the Anne Randolph Henry Charitable Foundation. The study recruited participants from adult Maine Medical Center Family Medicine patients. Participants who were also PPL card holders granted permission for the Library to release information on frequency of their library use for correlation by Dr. Zager and his colleagues with their medical histories. Throughout the study, all privacy laws and human research ethics protocols as well as PPL privacy policies were strictly observed, and no personal borrowing history was ever queried.
About Dr. Zager
Dr. Sam Zager is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, who holds an MD from Harvard University and an M.Phil. in Economic and Social History from Oxford University. His presentation on HeLPURS won top prize at the Maine Academy of Family Physicians Annual Conference in April 2014. Dr. Zager was trained in Family Medicine at Maine Medical Center. He practices at Martin’s Point Healthcare in Portland and volunteers at a Portland Public Health Department school-based clinic.