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NCLIS Award Winners from the Pacific Southwest!

On May 3, 2006, NCLIS (U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, an agency of the Federal government) sponsored the 2006 Libraries and Health Information Forum at the National Library of Medicine. The purpose of the day-long forum, organized by the staff of NCLIS and the National Library of Medicine, was to bring together the representatives of the ten libraries that were finalists for the 2006 Health Information Awards for Libraries as well as others interested in consumer health information.

The Health Information Awards represent the first nationwide award for libraries with exemplary consumer health information programs. According to NCLIS, “The awards are designed to encourage library programs that address one or more of the following: dietary choices; exercise; smoking cessation; alcohol and/or drug abuse prevention or cessation; immunizations and health screenings; and improved health literacy, that is, the ability to understand and make use of health information. In each state, a panel of judges selected the state winners based on how well the program encouraged lifestyle improvement among the target population, the program’s adaptability, collaboration with other community organizations, and how successfully the program was able to reach out to people with low information literacy skills.”

State winners from the Pacific Southwest Region included:

Arizona (tie)
Operation Health Outreach, Glendale Public Library
Get Real, Get Fit!, Tempe Public Library

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Library

Las Vegas Clark County Library District

Operation Health Outreach, the project of one of the two Arizona state winners, was funded by the NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region. Glendale Public Library was represented by project director Frieda Ling. Librarian Sarah Kaufman represented Tempe Public Library’s Get Real, Get Fit! Both attended the forum, along with Gladys Ann Wells, Director of the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records. They were awarded plaques for their accomplishments. To see their recent Arizona Library Association Newsletter articles about the Forum, go to, click on Publications, and navigate to the July/August 2006 issue.

Arizona State Winners

The “Family Health Fair at Your Library” program of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District (LVCCLD) was the state winner from Nevada. Las Vegas Clark-County Library District Librarians are proud to present Health Fairs annually. According to Elaine Wing, LVCCLD Assistant Branch Manager, “These health fairs are produced at no cost or low cost and encourage healthier lifestyles for every attendant from newborn to great grandparents….drawing in those residents who have not realized their library offers more than books.”

Nevada State Winner

From the state winners, a panel of NCLIS Commissioners selected ten Health Information Awards finalists. The Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Library in San Diego, represented by Dean of Libraries Naomi C. Broering, was the finalist from our region (see the recent Latitudes article.) She was awarded a plaque and a $1,000 prize in recognition of her library’s work.

NCLIS Finalist

In addition to the keynote speech by Dr. J. Edward Hill, President of the American Medical Association, the Health Information Awards finalists participated in three panel presentations before the awards were given. Panel participants highlighted their programs and offered their insights on one of three aspects of providing health information: “Effective Programs,” “Health Literacy,” and “Partnerships and Outreach.”


A panel of distinguished judges chose South Carolina’ s REACH 2010 program as the best library program for health information distribution. The winner was announced at the conclusion of the Forum. More information about the Forum can be found at

Congratulations to our state winners and finalist!

Editor’s Note: The NCLIS web site now includes a news release and the final report of the program on libraries and health information.

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