On this continuation episode of the NNLM Discovery podcast, Region 5’s recently retired Outreach & Engagement Coordinator Michele Spatz shares how three more libraries in Region 5 used Collection Equity Outreach Awards to enhance collection equity and support health literacy in their libraries by acquiring more materials by diverse voices.
In a previous episode, Michele shared stories from Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada. This episode highlights California, Oregon and Washington, where recipients purchased non-traditional resources for their collections. Do you know what a Zine is? Learn how Oregon Health and Sciences University augmented their collection with zines to better reflect those patrons the library serves. In California, PlaneTree Health Library produced YouTube videos to boost their online collection. And finally, we visit Washington state where the Walla Walla County Rural Library District developed a program that assembled bilingual resource kits about various health topics.
In total, 27 NNLM Region 5 member organizations received the Collection Equity Outreach Awards, and each member organization submitted a bibliography of purchased materials. Region 5 compiled these bibliographies into the Diverse Voices Toolkit, a freely accessible toolkit of collection development resources for all to use.
All of the artwork for this podcast series has been created with a generative AI text-to-image tool! The text prompt for the episode's artwork was " a diverse group of people looking for books at a library as a dramatic oil painting.”
Join Outreach Services Librarian, Yamila El-Khayat, for new episodes of the NNLM Discovery podcast. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, or listen on our website www.nnlm.gov/podcast. Please be sure to like, rate, and review the show!
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I’m librarian Yamila El-Khayat and this is NNLM Discovery a podcast from the Network of the National Library of Medicine. This podcast series explores how NNLM is conducting research, development, and training for the purpose of improving the public’s health. Today’s episode is, “Collection Equity – Part 2,” a story from Region #5. Recently retired, Michele Spatz, from the Region 5, will be joining us today.
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First off, Michele, congratulations on your retirement! You have spent your entire career working as a medical librarian and lastly as the outreach and engagement coordinator for the Network, I know you’ll definitely be missed.
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Thank you. I've had a wonderful run and I've enjoyed every part of my professional journey. But like all good things, it's time for me to take a new path.
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So as one of your last assignments, you helped produce a podcast episode from your region. In season one, we featured the first part of the story by sharing interviews of three recipients of the Collection Equity Outreach Award from Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada. Now you're back to share a few more stories from this award. Michele In case someone missed part one, what is the Collection Equity Outreach Award?
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The Collection Equity Outreach Award is a $1500 award that was granted to 27 recipients. The award was designed to amplify diverse voices of underrepresented or marginalized groups focusing on health and medicine. In this episode we’ll be highlighting the three states we haven't covered yet in our region. California, Oregon and Washington. Another thing that's different in this episode is that we'll be sharing stories of awardees purchasing nontraditional resources for their collections.
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If you haven't listened to part one, here's a quick recap on the awardees we already covered. Alaska used their Collection Equity Award to purchase books for a new youth shelter in Juneau. Hawaii created book discussion kits that could be checked out by families in Maui. And Nevada amplified their health humanities collection at UNLV with stories focusing on women in medicine and LGBTQ and health care.
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I can't wait to hear more stories from this grant, who's our first awardee?
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So our first story is in Oregon at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, known locally as OHSU. I'll admit Oregon's collection equity submission was for an idea I'd never heard of. Yamila, have you ever heard of a zine?
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I have heard of a zine.
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What? Yeah. Well, I hadn't. I had no idea, man. Oh. For this award, I talked with Maria Cunningham, Director of Special Collections at OHSU, and local Zine expert about what exactly is a Zine.
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Okay, so a zine, so the term zine is short for a fanzine or magazine, and basically it's a DIY book that people create and they either share it or they sell it for very cheaply. But the term Zine came around around the 1930s, so that's where people can like trace the history of zines back to that. I guess the term zine was actually being used.
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So they had a long history until like becoming what they are today. So if you see a small pamphlet or booklet that someone wrote, sometimes they can be done on the computer or they could be hand-drawn. They can basically be anything, which is what makes them great because it's hard to tie them down to a specific definition or type because there's so many different types and that’s what’s great about them.
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So why zines instead of traditional print?
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The great thing about zines is that anyone can make them. Zines have long been used by marginalized communities to share in our experiences and views and what we think of the world. And zines are great because they are not censored, they're not edited. You don't have to get them approved by someone to make them. You can just make your zine about whatever you want and put it out there.
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Also, when it comes to like health information or health experiences for this project, zines, they’re more personal and we thought would get more experiences if we went the zine route rather than the traditional publishing route.
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And it was a very atypical choice for an academic health sciences library to choose zines.
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Yes, that's another thing. Zines are frequently not seen as academic, and I'm trying to change that as well because they can be used in academia. A lot of times the library collection does not reflect who the library serves. We want to show all these different perspectives in our collection, and this was a nice quick and fun way to do that, to get something different in the library that hasn't been shown before.
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After our interview, Maria shared links to a few medical zines that students at OHSU have written after being inspired from reading zines in her collection.
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Now that you're retired, Michelle is writing a zine, something you might be inspired to do in your free time?
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Well, never say never, right? And I am pretty crafty. Our next awardee from California is also doing something they've never done before. Produce videos.
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Oh, cool. So this award goes beyond just books.
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Yes, it does. Planetree Health Library is a virtual library with its physical headquarters in San Jose. Their patient centered approach to health information and supported producing YouTube videos has a great way to boost their online collection. I talked with Lise Dyckman, Executive Director of Planetree Health Library, about her submission to the Collection Equity Outreach Award.
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We were specifically asking for funding to afford the technology to undertake a video project that would talk about health care concerns of people in different communities from their perspective, not the perspective of the person and the outsider looking in saying, “This is what cultural competence means for them.”
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So, Lise, tell me about what video or videos you've completed and what's in the pipeline.
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Okay. We've completed a video of Muslims in Conversation, which is a discussion between two Muslims about strategies for interacting with our current Western Anglo American health care system while still allowing what's important to them in their faith to happen. The ones we've got cued up that we're currently working on. There's one on family caregivers, specifically children taking care of their elderly parents who are Chinese-American or Japanese American.
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That's one. The other one that we're currently in process is black and Afro-Caribbean gay men talking about their health concerns and how do they navigate the health care system. We're working also on both another one for older LGBT individuals, LGBT seniors, which is a very different experience from a lot of younger LGBT, I won't call them youth, but young adults.
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Why was capturing videos ideal for your online library?
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Because we wanted to focus on the on the individuals and the communities and their voices. There's lots of ways you could do that. But having had the opportunity to work many years ago in social science libraries with oral history programs, I realized just how incredibly powerful hearing that voice, that personal voice, the I, and my family and and my town or my community.
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What a difference that made from the third person, passive voice, careful language in the textbooks. You know, we need both, but we need both.
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Before we move on. I wanted to play a short clip from Planetree's first produced video called Diversity Dialogs: Muslims in Conversation. This was a conversation between two Muslim women about navigating Western medicine.
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Muslims in Conversation
What are some challenges for some, you know, female or male Muslim patients? Sure, Yeah. So one of the major cultural barriers is around modesty and mixed gender interactions, which impacts Muslim patients. And this is both when they visit the doctor as well as in the hospital. So some Muslims and this is both men and women are uncomfortable even touching the opposite gender.
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Muslims in Conversation
Even shaking hands. Many Muslims and this is both men and women do prefer same gender doctors and nurses. And that's particularly true for OB-GYN or any kind of personal care, such as bathing, catheter insertion, etc..
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Muslims in Conversation
And then, as we've kind of alluded to, Muslim women may want to stay covered even during a procedure which may not seem to make sense. But their attitude is, you know, we want to only uncover what is necessary. So that is that is a patient's right to do so.
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Hearing stories firsthand are always so impactful. I can see how this type of conversation would be influential and important for health students, doctors, and the general public. I can't wait to see their other videos. So I've been keeping track. You have one more State in your region that we haven't featured yet, Washington
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Yes. Walla Walla. Washington Rural Library District is our final awardee we're featuring today. Walla Walla is known for their agriculture, their sweet onion is famous nationwide, and they have a notable wine industry. Here is Ana Romero, Executive Director of the Rural Library District, on why she applied for this award.
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Post-COVID times, it was very apparent to us as a library district and I think as a collective whole that we started to see trends and we started to really realize the importance of our well-being and what taking care of ourselves meant. Libraries are more than just books.
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What was your submission to the Collection Equity award?
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Sure. Our submission was to develop a program in which kits would be assembled covering various health topics. They cover topics in the areas of maternal and child health, aging, health equity, mental health, communicable diseases, tobacco and substance abuse, chronic disease, healthy eating and exercise. And we even purchased some things on health policy and reform. The collection has been purchased and the kits are in the works.
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So the kits are bilingual, English and Spanish, is that correct?
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That is correct. We chose to buy items that were monolingual, English, monolingual, Spanish, and some some items that we purchased for the children, those were bilingual, Spanish, English. This in particular was very, very important because inclusivity is one of our core values here at the library. And catering to bilingual families is essential in trying to establish trust and rapport with this community.
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So that was that was an imperative factor that we wanted to include.
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While we only featured three awardees in this podcast episode, we funded 27 libraries and organizations. From the awardees Bibliographies, we created the Diverse Voices Writing on Health and Medicine Collection Development Toolkit. It has over 1400 unique resources.
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Wow. 1400 resources. That's pretty impressive. A small grant can make a large impact. So where can I find this?
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Well, the easiest way is to just Google the NNLM reading club. The tool kit can be found on the Reading Club's main page.
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Thank you again, Michele. The toolkit and the Collection Equity Outreach Award made and is making quite a difference.
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Thank you, Yamila. I appreciate your kindness.
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We'll be featuring other profiles, grants and interesting information from all of our regions during this season of NNLM Discovery. Subscribe to our podcast and follow NNLM Discovery online as we develop podcast episodes from all regions of the network. You can learn more about the NLM Health Information Resources by visiting the National Library of Medicine at NNLM.gov.