Library Wellness Challenge

by Amy Schroeder Ireland | Apr 09, 2010
1 read | 14 Comments
Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
Challenge I: Ideas for Addressing Obesity in Minnesota competition.

Summary:

The Hamline Midway Library Association (HMLA) will partner with the Hamline Midway branch of the St. Paul Public Libraries to provide new and innovative ways to address the health of the community. We believe we can address obesity in Minnesota by utilizing our libraries as community gathering spots to host health and wellness related events and by bolstering the collection of health and wellness materials available for check-out.

The HMLA will sponsor a Wellness Challenge. The Challenge will include monthly health and wellness events at the library. Each quarter, the event will include a ‘Challenge Check-In,’ during which health-care workers will be available to check participants’ health and wellness indicators, such as weight, blood-pressure, body mass index. Each participant will receive a Wellness Journal to record health and wellness goals and progress.

Experts in selected areas of health or nutrition will present monthly on relevant topics at the library. The expert will be asked to profile different books, CDs, DVDs or other media that will help participants learn more about the topic. The recommended books or other media will then be added to the library’s collection.

Individuals will form and join Challenge Groups that will meet on a weekly basis to pursue health and wellness related activities – biking, yoga, healthy cooking, physical games for kids, or whatever activity helps its members meet their health and wellness goals. Group activities, meeting times and locations will be made public so that new participants can join at any time.

First Name

Amy Schroeder

Last Name

Ireland

About You

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First Name

Amy Schroeder

Last Name

Ireland

Country

United States, MN

City

Country

United States, MN

City

About You

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About Your Organization

Organization Name

Hamline Midway Library Association

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

Your idea

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Name your idea

Library Wellness Challenge

Describe your idea

The Hamline Midway Library Association (HMLA) will partner with the Hamline Midway branch of the St. Paul Public Libraries to provide new and innovative ways to address the health of the community. We believe we can address obesity in Minnesota by utilizing our libraries as community gathering spots to host health and wellness related events and by bolstering the collection of health and wellness materials available for check-out.
The HMLA will sponsor a Wellness Challenge. The Challenge will include monthly health and wellness events at the library. Each quarter, the event will include a ‘Challenge Check-In,’ during which health-care workers will be available to check participants’ health and wellness indicators, such as weight, blood-pressure, body mass index. Each participant will receive a Wellness Journal to record health and wellness goals and progress.
Experts in selected areas of health or nutrition will present monthly on relevant topics at the library. The expert will be asked to profile different books, CDs, DVDs or other media that will help participants learn more about the topic. The recommended books or other media will then be added to the library’s collection.
Individuals will form and join Challenge Groups that will meet on a weekly basis to pursue health and wellness related activities – biking, yoga, healthy cooking, physical games for kids, or whatever activity helps its members meet their health and wellness goals. Group activities, meeting times and locations will be made public so that new participants can join at any time.

How do you define your "community"?

All people who live, work, worship, or go to school in the Hamline Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, and all former, current and future patrons of the Hamline Midway Library.

Tell us how you think the issue of obesity is affecting your community

Obesity is affecting the most vulnerable members of our community – children and elders – in some very serious ways.

The school nurse at our neighborhood elementary school reports seeing many children with diagnoses of diabetes and asthma at earlier ages. Ethnic background and poverty both correlate with higher rates for obesity-related health problems. Children in our school are at particular risk, as the school’s ethnic make-up is 1% American Indian, 49 % Asian, 6 % Hispanic, and 36 % African-American, and 93% of students at the school qualify for free or reduced lunch.

On the other end of the age-spectrum, the Hamline Midway Elders program serves community residents over age sixty. The program reports that some of the residents whom they serve have limited mobility, balance and strength, COPD, stroke, knee problems, and/or diabetes complications in part due to obesity and sedentary lifestyles. These health conditions necessitate important interventions including hospitalizations, temporary or permanent nursing home stays, physical therapy, and expensive homecare earlier rather than later. The same factors put these elders risk for falls, nursing home placement, and more.

The program also receives many calls from people in their 50s already having serious chronic health problems such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, and other obesity-related conditions making their daily functioning difficult. While the Hamline Midway Elders grant funding mandates that the group focus on those 60+, the group is concerned that there seems to be a lack of support and social services for these “older young.”

Why should your idea be selected?

The Hamline Midway Library has the highest percentage of patrons who walk or bike to the library of any of the St. Paul Public Library branches. Members of our community are already putting individual efforts into improving our collective health. The Hamline Midway Library is currently the location for free weekly yoga classes (provided volunteer yoga instructor). The Midway Movement Arts program is planning a kids’ yoga story-time at the Hamline Midway Library, and will offer free yoga and meditation/relaxation classes in a neighborhood park (by volunteers).

We hope to formally coordinate these and other neighborhood groups and organizations with health and wellness objectives (gardening groups, school groups, etc.) under the umbrella of the Wellness Challenge, and bring these groups together at the library. Groups will be invited to ‘sponsor’ weekly Challenge Groups so that individual members can track their wellness goals in a more organized and formal way, and can better measure their health outcomes.

This idea can easily be adapted to any community in Minnesota. Every community has a library. Every library already carries some books on nutrition, fitness, health and wellness. Every library has space where lectures and activities can take place, and where participants can store their Wellness Journals. By focusing efforts on increasing library collections in the areas of health and wellness, and creating a central location for health and wellness activities that are free and visibly open to the public, we believe that all Minnesota communities can improve their collective health.

hayworth structure said: This challenge was a little hard but still we choose it because we like to measure our skills. - James D. Sterling about this Competition Entry. - 1738 days ago read more >
Library Wellness Challenge has been chosen as a finalist in Challenge I: Ideas for Addressing Obesity in Minnesota. - 3150 days ago
Bill Teeple said: This is a fantastic idea, since it expands the traditional role of the library. Obviously, too much time spent in sedentary reading can ... about this Competition Entry. - 3162 days ago read more >
Stephanie Xenos said: What an excellent way to use the library to address a problem in the community. I'd definitely participate. about this Competition Entry. - 3163 days ago read more >
Brian Hoffman said: One of the advantages of having the wellness challenge at the library is that it keeps it local. Many people will be able to walk to the ... about this Competition Entry. - 3163 days ago read more >
Jun-Li Wang said: This is wonderful! I hope you can also connect to groups that have overlapping interests - like Midway Movement Arts Project - they're ... about this Competition Entry. - 3163 days ago read more >
Sarah Carter said: I agree with many of the comments so far. The Hamline Midway Community Library is already very good at reaching out to the neighborhood ... about this Competition Entry. - 3163 days ago read more >
Sara Bogie said: I think that the library is already used as a community center and that all segments of the population feel comfortable visiting and ... about this Competition Entry. - 3163 days ago read more >
Dhaivyd Hilgendorf said: Andrea and Mike speak my mind. I think this project could be very successful in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. You are what you ... about this Competition Entry. - 3163 days ago read more >
Carrie Pomeroy said: The wonderful thing about the library as a community fitness node is that it is already serving all the people you'd want involved in ... about this Competition Entry. - 3163 days ago read more >