Iowa Go Local

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Iowa Go Local

  • Presented by Chris Childs

One May 11, 2007 the University of Iowa’s Hardin Library of the Health Sciences proposed to implement a state-wide Go Local project in partnership with the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health (CPH) and the University of Iowa‘s Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) Patient’s Library using the NLM hosted Go Local system. Hardin Library would seek involvement in the form of input and promotion from other educational, public health, medical, community, and library organizations in the state, including the State Library of Iowa, which coordinates the state’s network of public libraries, and the Iowa Department of Public Health, whose mission is to protect and promote the health of all Iowans.

Hardin Library worked with the UI College of Public Health, the UIHC Patient’s Library, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the State Library of Iowa to identify health services links to include in the Iowa Go Local site. These partners nominated sites from a broad range of entities including healthcare and health education organizations across Iowa.

Promotional activities began with utilizing outreach programming and existing communication channels to invite participation and publicize Iowa Go Local. These included contacts from the state’s public libraries and public health system as developed by the Go Local team. Hardin Library set up and maintained an email listserv specifically for communicating between partner organizations on this project. Publicity through a variety of methods, such as listserv messages, press releases to local newspapers and newsletters, and radio interviews helped to get the word out across state of Iowa. Publicity materials such as a brochure and a display case were developed with the assistance of the University Libraries public relations team and the UI Center for Disabilities and Development. The brochures are available to any organization interested in promoting Iowa Go Local within their institutions. Promotional materials such as pinwheels and magnets were purchased and used when exhibiting at the Johnson County and Iowa State Fairs. Iowa Go Local has also been exhibited at state meetings of the Iowa Library Association and the Iowa Nurses Association. Future exhibits are scheduled for the Iowa State Association of Counties, and the Iowa Public Health Association. Introductory packets complete with a description and link to the brochure were emailed to every public library and public health agency in the state. If an email address couldn’t be found, then a packet with the description and 25 brochures was sent by regular mail. Demonstrations have been given at several meetings sponsored by the UI College of Public Health and added into presentations given on Patient Safety.

Since Iowa Go Local was introduced to the public, several public librarians and public nurses have given testimonials stating that they have linked Iowa Go Local to their institution’s website. The National Library of Medicine sends out monthly statistical information on Iowa Go Local and based on these reports, overall usage has increased throughout the state. The public has also been active in ensuring that the information in Iowa Go Local is current by notifying the Go Local team of corrections that need to be made to some of the records currently in the system, or requesting that new information to be added.

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