Swine flu, H1N1, and public libraries

Vermont 2-1-1 is working closely with the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Emergency Management to help provide public information about H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu). General questions about H1N1 Flu or other health concerns related to the outbreak can be answered by dialing 2-1-1. Use the Vermont 2-1-1 link to reach other useful medical websites with information on Vermont and the world. The Vermont Department of Health link includes Vermont health alerts as well as good planning advice.

The CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has a long informative webpage on the vaccine, H1N1, and related issues. CDC free resources include public health posters on hand-washing and coughs, which the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock uses in their public restrooms.

Should public libraries ask patrons to leave if they are sick? LibraryLaw Blog says no. Librarians cannot diagnose H1N1. So, post signs, wipe down keyboards, and offer hand sanitizer and kleenex.

The Rockingham Free Public Library last year distributed a notice to parents. The message: if you’re too sick to be at school, you’re too sick to visit the library. Librarian Sam Maskell offers to select materials for pickup and reminds users of the themed bookbags with audio, video, and books. Sam is considering health programming, with a storytime about hand washing (“Germs are Not for Sharing”, by Elizabeth Verdick, “Wash your Hands!” By Tony Ross, or “Don’t You Feel Well, Sam?” by Amy Hest).

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