Portland Public Library staff joined scores of community partners this morning, led by United Way of Greater Portland, to celebrate the wonderful launch event for Thrive 2027, a statement of 10-year community goals for Greater Portland.
The vision for this effort, based on input from over 2,000 individuals and organizations, is to “see Greater Portland as an inclusive, caring, and collaborative community that focuses its resources strategically so that everyone grows and prospers through enhanced educational opportunities, financial stability, and healthy living.”
The three stated goals in Thrive 2027 express commitments to provide quality educational experiences for all children; and to bolster financial stability and optimal health through education, resources, and opportunities.
As your public library, we are deeply committed to provide our expertise and materials, community conversations, and special programming experiences so that everyone can discover new opportunities, learn and become informed to pursue these opportunities, and get support to navigate the systems…and THRIVE.
Over the past several months, PPL has held a range of discussion groups on the best-selling and oft-borrowed Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande. Made possible by a generous grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation, our program engaged nearly 500 individuals – from independent seniors and family members, to assisted living residents and staff, to medical professionals
Our goals for the program were to help participants have wider understanding of the end-of-life experience for most Americans in this era, to have a way to develop and articulate their own perspective on the question of quality of life vs. quantity of time remaining, and to feel empowered to have thoughtful, necessary discussions on end-of-life issues with their families and caregivers.
We have received tremendous feedback from host facilities and from participants alike. PPL takes very seriously our vision of helping citizens be more literate, informed, and engaged, and we are gratified by participants’ appreciation for the our help in framing these critical conversations.
Maggie Richards Editor at Henry Holt, has provided us with the outline and discussion guide that Dr. Gawande uses himself when he speaks with groups about the book. This guide will be included in the upcoming October release of the paperback but is not in any of the current editions; we are delighted that Dr. Gawande’s publisher has entrusted it to us. You can download the guide here.
Additional discussion group guidelines – developed by our facilitators and with various audiences in mind – will be made available on our website shortly. We hope other libraries, individual book groups, and organizations that wish to initiate these critical conversations will find them useful.
If your book group would like to explore this topic, please be in touch with us by email at email@example.com or at 207-871-1700 ext. 717 for details on how to borrow multiple copies of Being Mortal and use our supplied discussion guides to begin conversations.
On Tuesday, February 23rd, the Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter (PSR Maine) will be here to talk about their report, Death by Degrees: The health crisis of climate change in Maine. PSR Maine believes we now must do the work to slow or halt climate change and protect the health of all Mainers regardless of where they live. The health effects of climate change are an important and often overlooked aspect global warming. This presentation will look at what we are already experiencing and what we can expect in Maine. The talk is enlightening and leaves participants empowered to take action on climate change to help protect their family’s health.
Please check out these resources if you are interested in further information about the effects of climate change on human health:
Enviro-Health Links – Climate Change and Human Health: Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) maintains a comprehensive web site that provides access to resources produced by it and by other government agencies and organizations. This web site includes links to databases, bibliographies, tutorials, and other scientific and consumer-oriented resources.
The Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH): a publicly accessible, online tool for researchers that offers centralized access to thousands of government-held datasets related to health, the environment, and climate-science. MATCH is one of a growing number of tools, driven by open data, that are being made available by the Obama Administration as fuel for innovation, ideas, and insights ‐ in this case, at the important intersection of climate and human health.
The Atlas of Climate Change: Mapping the World’s Greatest Challenge: This highly acclaimed atlas distills the vast science of climate change, providing a reliable and insightful guide to this rapidly growing field. Since the 2006 publication of the first edition, climate change has climbed even higher up the global agenda. This new edition reflects the latest developments in research and the impact of climate change, and in current efforts to mitigate and adapt to changes in the world’s weather. (digital copy available)
Climate change and human health: a program of the World Health Organization (WHO). Includes links, reports, news and events. The primary role of WHO is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system.
Climate and Public Health Topics: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): CDC’s Climate and Health Program is helping state and city health departments prepare for the specific health impacts of climate change that their communities will face.
Use these PPL online resources to find articles, videos, and news concerning climate change and human health.