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Owing to the scope and pace of change, society has become increasingly knowledge-based so that higher learning and research now act as essential components of cultural, socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development of individuals, communities and nations. In this environment, it is essential that higher learning and knowledge creation involve effective partnerships among academic and non-academic learning institutions and communities to create and apply learning and knowledge with stakeholders that are managing and creating sustainable development initiatives. Growing concern regarding the importance of the contribution that higher education institutions make to society has aroused increasing debate about their relevance and credibility amid escalating social problems. An underlying premise of community engagement is the understanding that not all knowledge and expertise resides in the academy, and that both expertise and great learning opportunities in teaching and scholarship also reside in non-academic settings.

This conference will explore how LIS educators and researchers can develop curricula, programs, and research activities that enable active partnerships with communities and civil society to manage and create change. How can LIS programs increase opportunities for experiential, service oriented, and community engaged student learning? How can we develop further collaboration between LIS programs and their larger communities (local, regional/ state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity?

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Thursday, January 19 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Session 5.2 B Juried Paper: Is the public library in the Blue Zone? Socially Responsible Nudging to promote Community Engagement in Planned Community Health Initiatives

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There is widespread desire for extended longevity, provided it coincides with healthy, youthful years (Donner, Fortney, Calimport, Pfleger, Shah, & Betts-LaCroix, 2016; Lang, Baltes, & Wagner, 2007). Socially responsible strategies promoting public encourage community engagement. A recent public/private partnership approach began as a National Geographic expedition to find the longest living cultures evolved into a recipe for living longer (Blue Zones, 2014; 2016). Blue Zones (BZs) project is an organized social movement in select American communities to replicate BZs healthy lifestyle principles and longevity. Three states (Hawaii, Iowa, and Oregon) and four communities in California, Florida, Minnesota, and Texas have committed to become a target BZ (Buettner, 2008; 2015). Aside from the BZ infrastructure, what is the role of the public library in community engagement and adoption of a healthy lifestyle in planned community health initiatives?

 

Government involvement in personal health issues has been met with resistance (Leonard, 2011; Mor, 2015; Palmer, 1999). The involvement of local government in the BZ initiative opens the door to criticism and speculation by community members (Leonor, 2015). Despite its governmentally funded status, public libraries are socially responsible to their communities for providing unbiased information, space for gathering, and a commitment to engaging citizens from all walks of the community. Collections alone pose problems as information overload poses challenges to community engagement in planned healthy communities. Services such as information sessions, project demonstrations, and subject-specific resources add to the information overload phenomenon. Lankes (2012) statement calls for building communities through libraries. Despite the increasing popularity of BZs in the research and practice of public health promotion and social policy, no research has been conducted by LIS scholars to examine the effect of information provision and use in the context of the five BZs, specifically as it relates to the role of the public library.



Thursday January 19, 2017 10:30am - 12:00pm
Atlanta 1

Attendees (9)