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Loutit District Library Again Participates in Award Winning Program Libraries Saving Lives

The nationally acclaimed “Michigan Libraries for Life” program is expanding its statewide participation for the seventh consecutive year. The partnership, led by the University of Michigan’s Taubman Health Sciences Library and Gift of Life Michigan, was recognized by Donate Life America in 2015 as the top organ, tissue and eye donation promotional activity in the country, and has received an $18,000 grant from the Gift of Life Foundation to reach an even greater number of Michigan residents this year.

The Loutit District Library (LDL), along with libraries across the state, will be participating in the “Michigan Libraries for Life” campaign from Monday, October 3 through Sunday, October 9 in conjunction with Gift of Life Michigan.

Library staff will answer questions, provide fun giveaway items and, most importantly, help library patrons sign up as organ, eye, and tissue donors.

LDL will have an informational table will be located in the upper level lobby of the library during the drive. For more information, visit www.loutitlibrary.org or call 616-842-5560, ext. 214.

“Michigan Libraries for Life” program, a seven day campaign, involves more than 100 libraries across the state, each inspiring local residents to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, and educating them on the facts of organ, tissue and eye donation. The libraries involved in the campaign are located throughout Michigan, from Houghton to Dearborn and from South Haven to Detroit. Volunteers and library staff will answer questions, provide fun giveaway items and, most importantly, help library patrons sign up on the Donor Registry.

The Michigan Libraries for Life campaign began in 2010 at the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library and has expanded to include academic, hospital, and public libraries. Each library determines its own donor drive schedule within the designated week and arranges for volunteers to staff an information table. Many of the participating libraries will display the “Memories from Michigan” donor family quilts, which tell the stories of organ, tissue, and eye donors through panels that have been personalized by their families.

Since its inception, Michigan Libraries For Life has inspired 2,900 people to sign up as organ, tissue and eye donors. “This program is successful because libraries are a trusted source for information, and they make it very easy to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry,” explained Kate Saylor, Informationist at Taubman Health Sciences Library and lead organizer of the event. Saylor is delighted that Michigan Libraries for Life has extended its reach across the state; last year’s effort included a record 123 participating libraries. “People in every community can participate, thanks to our library partners.”

“Through their participation in this outstanding program, libraries are providing hope to every one of the 3,500 Michigan patients waiting for an organ transplant,” said Gift of Life Michigan’s Interim CEO, Rick Hillbom. “Libraries are a natural place to go for information and community services, and a logical place to educate Michigan residents about organ, tissue and eye donation. We are grateful for the ongoing and enthusiastic support of our library partners.”

At its 2015 annual meeting Donate Life America, a national not-for-profit membership alliance of organ, tissue and eye donation and transplant organizations, presented the Michigan Libraries For Life with the Pinnacle Award in the Affinity category, and the Platinum award for best overall program. The Pinnacle Awards recognize top programs from across the country for successfully inspiring more people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and establishing donation as a cultural norm.

Additional information and a state map showing all the participating libraries are available at librariesforlife.org. Michigan residents who join the state’s Donor Registry will receive a red heart donor symbol for the front of their driver’s license or state ID card. You can sign up at a participating library, at giftoflifemichigan.org or by calling 866-500-5801. You can also join the Donor Registry at any Secretary of State office.

The Taubman Health Sciences Library delivers high quality health and biomedical information services to the University of Michigan’s academic health sciences schools, basic and clinical research, bioinformatics and clinical translational science, and the UM Health System.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s federally designated organ recovery organization, which acts as the intermediary between donors, physicians and hospital staff. In partnership with Eversight Michigan, it provides all the services needed for organ, tissue and eye donation for the state.

Contact information: MichLib4Life@umich.edu , info@giftoflifemichigan.org.

Loutit District Library is located at 407 Columbus Avenue in Grand Haven, Michigan. The LDL serves 35,540 residents of the City of Grand Haven, the City of Ferrysburg, Grand Haven Charter Township, Robinson Township and that part of Port Sheldon Township in the Grand Haven Area Public School District. LDL offers a collection of over 132,552 items and provides educational, informative, cultural, and recreational programs for all ages. LDL is a member of the Lakeland Library Cooperative.