Two public libraries have won the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) 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. The library also hosts public lectures and shows films on local health issues. 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.
• ‘Gh. Asachi’ County Library Iași in Romania. The library’s First Aid Toolkit service provides 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.
The EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) PLIP 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. The health award is the second in a series of four EIFL-PLIP Innovation Awards. Click here to read more about the winners of this award and the other awards, or visit http://www.eifl.net/eifl-plip-innovation-awards.