EAST CHICAGO | A partnership between the East Chicago Public Library and St. Catherine Hospital is seeking to ensure library visitors leave with more than just a book or a movie.
It is intended to provide patrons with information that may improve the quality of their lives.
The Templeton Gallery at the main library, 2401 E. Columbus Drive, housed an educational exhibit in October that corresponded with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the importance of screenings and early detection.
This month, the library and hospital are collaborating on a display that pertains to November being National Diabetes Awareness Month.
"One of the reasons we focus on diabetes awareness is because it is a huge issue in our area," said Khisha Anderson, community outreach specialist for St. Catherine Hospital.
"We have a lot of adults who are Type 2 diabetics and we are finding that more children are developing Type 2 diabetes at early ages."
Much like the breast cancer exhibit, the diabetes display will include informational handouts for visitors to take home. An explanation of healthy food choices is also an important part of the exhibit.
Cheryl Smith, department head of public relations for the East Chicago Public Library, said a partnership between the library and hospital is a natural one because both do much in terms of community outreach.
While the gallery also may be used at times to display cultural exhibits or to showcase the work of local artists, the two recent exhibits are not the only ways the library has joined forces with the hospital.
"We do free blood pressure screenings," Smith said. "Next year, we'll be providing some health seminars with different speakers."
The blood pressure screenings take place at the library from 1 to 3 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month.
The library will partner with the American Red Cross to host a Fire Safety Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 16 at the library.
Attendees will learn about fire prevention and how to create a home escape plan. Participants also will receive free smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers.
Call (219) 729-6265 for more information on the Fire Safety Fair.
A Health Fair that will focus on diabetes, stroke and heart disease is set for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the professional office building conference room at the hospital.
Cholesterol screenings will be available and require a fast of 10 to 12 hours, Anderson said.
Call (219) 836-3477 for more information regarding the Health Fair.