Here’s another great way for public libraries to be involved in their communities, and be an essential service to their users.
The new health care overhaul (called ObamaCare by some) is taking place very soon. No matter what or where you are, your library is going to get questions about it. Not that you have to be an expert in the changes in the law of course!—BUT one thing librarians do know how to do is find information. So it’s no surprise that libraries are being “recruited to help people get signed up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Up to 17,000 U.S. libraries will be part of the effort to get information and crucial computer time to the millions of uninsured Americans who need to get coverage under the law.” (NY Times, 6/28/13)
More from the Associated Press press release:
Libraries equipped with public computers and Internet access already serve as a bridge across the digital divide, so it made sense to get them involved, said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“Libraries are a tremendous resource for people in their communities,” Bataille said. “They’re already a destination many individuals go to when they’re seeking out information and understanding on a variety of issues.”
Libraries also have public spaces where meetings can be held. And they already provide health information to 28 million people a year via public access computers, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal grant-making agency, which will coordinate the new effort with CMS. The two federal agencies also worked together during the rollout of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, experience that should help with this effort, Bataille said.
What a great opportunity and what a great service you can provide! Read the article for more ideas, and to learn about the online toolkit that is being developed to assist you.