Cedar Rapids Public Library piloting program promoting a healthy lifestyle

A view inside the Cedar Rapids Public Library on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 (Taylor Holt/KCRG)
A view inside the Cedar Rapids Public Library on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 (Taylor Holt/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Jan. 22, 2020 at 6:16 PM CST
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Patrons of the public library in Cedar Rapids will soon have access to tools and resources toward living a healthier lifestyle as part of a new pilot program, according to officials.

A $50,000 grant given to the Iowa Department of Health is funding the "Harnessing the power of Iowa Libraries" program. Cedar Rapids is one of the first libraries where it's being tested.

Dara Schmidt, the library's director, said they are looking at things like integrating a social or community health worker into library hours to increase access to human services. They are also exploring offering cooking and nutrition classes along with lending wellness equipment through the library.

"Populations that come to public libraries really are everyone from all aspects of life and so county public health can really look at some target populations that are higher need, but also maybe people that have never considered or thought about the nutrition education," Schmidt said.

The library is working with Linn County Public Health for the program.

Final plans for the implementation of the program have not been made, but officials plan to have most up and running by Spring 2020.