by David Mendez
Be proud, Pima County: your libraries are doing things right.
According to the Urban Library Council, the Pima County Public Libraries are innovators in the field of health, wellness and safety for their Library Nurse program, which places public health nurses in libraries to help treat medical issues of library patrons.
Before the program was implemented, PCPL staff often called 911 for assistance in handling customers’ medical and behavioral issues. In January 2012, the Library began a partnership with the Pima County Health Department to place Public Health Nurses in six libraries. Library Services Manager Amber Mathewson, who oversees the program for PCPL, said that library workers have become the eyes and ears for the nurses. “The library nurse program is not only an innovation for libraries, but provides a new model for public health nursing as well,” said Mathewson. “Patrons see their library as a safe place to find information even when it comes to basic human needs.”
“Being recognized by the ULC demonstrates that this program is doing what we intended,” said Kathleen Malkin, Community Health Services Division Manager for the Pima County Health Department. “Today, all 20 county Public Health Nurses are charged with connecting with the library in their assigned neighborhoods, so our impact will grow even more.”
If you'd like to see the press release from PCPL, you can check it out here.