Lakeland’s health library not a secret

Published 4:02 am Wednesday, December 27, 2006

By By MELISSA GODSEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The Buchanan Area Health Resource Library at Lakeland Hospital has 986 books audiocassettes, compact discs and digital video discs available to the public to use, according to Sheila Kuball, the library specialist.
The health resource library is located in Lakeland Community Hospital in Niles, and there is also a Lakeland Community Health Resource Library in St. Joseph.
The Buchanan Area Health Resource Library was added around three years ago, during the same time renovations took place at the hospital, Kuball said.
The library has a vast amount of knowledge, Kuball said. The books and media are on a variety of different topics relating to health, from diabetes to stress to children's health and even pet health.
"One of my favorite expressions is 'knowledge is the best prescription,'" Kuball said. "That is the reason our libraries exist."
Individuals who wish to check out a book have to register first by filling out a registration card and signing a lender agreement, Kuball said. Once registered books and media can be borrowed for up to two weeks, if the two weeks is not enough time the user can call and renew over the telephone, she said.
All of the books are user friendly, they are written in a language anyone can understand not just a physician, she said. Specialists in the Lakeland community screen the books before they are put in the library.
The books and media are not the only reason the library is useful since there is also a computer center. The computers can be used to research Web sites that the resource library has approved, Kuball said. An individual selects a category and the list of Web sites is displayed. Users can print all that is needed free of charge and the information is stored in a folder behind the counter for privacy, she said.
This computer service can also be reached by visiting the Web site
The library has around 20 volunteers that are trained to help people who want to use the library.
"There are times when people call in and will say 'can you do some research on this for me?' or we have patients in the hospital and they would like additional information on their illness or condition," Kuball said. "Then we do all the research and deliver the information to the patient in their room."
Kuball and the volunteers are there to help, but they are not medical professionals. A retired physician is available as a medical specialist for the library when specific questions are asked, Kuball said.
The library is also equipped with its own massage chair for people to come relax.
"We have the OB unit right next door, mothers come in and they're in labor and we have a wonderful massage chair," Kuball said. "They can come in, sit back and enjoy a nice massage while they're having their mild contractions."
The resource library is there to create a tranquil calm place for family members to research or even just to get away, she said.
The library is always looking for volunteers; anyone that is interested can reach Sheila Kuball at (269) 927-5274.