How Libraries & Librarians Can Promote Community Health

This is the first post in my effort to tell the story of my recent health journey.

April Roy is the branch manager at the Lucile H. Bluford Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. April is a 2015 winner of the “I Love My Librarian Award” from the American Library Association in recognition for her work at Bluford.

You can read an article about her work here:

KC librarian honored for transforming branch, community
by Donna Pitman (KMBC, January 20, 2016)

April and her staff are amazing librarians and they’ve done incredible things for their neighborhood. I’m exceedingly proud to be a part of the same library system.

One of the Bluford Branch’s major initiatives is a focus on health. The branch serves a neighborhood which suffers disproportionately from diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. April has made it a focus of her efforts to combat these problems, through in-library fitness classes, to community weight loss challenges, to a dedicated health information collection, to active partnerships with neighborhood clinics and health centers.

Learn more about the Bluford Branch’s health programming here:

At one Kansas City library, residents check out their health
by Esther Honig (The Pulse, January 13, 2016)

April and her staff inspire me to want to do more to help my family, friends, and community to promote better health and well-being.

One of the things that fuels the success of Bluford’s health initiatives are the success stories of the participants. Knowing how someone changed their life encourages others to try, as well, and reassures them that they can do it, too.

Following April’s work on this front has me thinking about my own health journey. Over the past few years, I’ve succeeded in transforming my health and well-being to a degree beyond what I thought I could accomplish.

I’ve shared bits and pieces of my health journey on my social media accounts but I wonder if it would help to bring all those threads of the story together on this blog. I wonder if I can use my story to help inspire and encourage others.

Over the next couple of posts, I’m going to share some of my personal reflections and insights, my story of getting myself back in shape. It may be that no one is interested but I think it’ll at least feel good to have a more-or-less definitive account.

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