FLINT TWP. — The Genesee District Library will once again take part in Michigan Libraries for Life, a registration drive to educate patrons about organ donation.
Shalonda Griffin, community relations coordinator with Gift of Life-Michigan, said several branches of the GDL will participate in the program, Oct. 9-15.
Michigan Libraries for Life was started in 2010 by the Taubman Health Sciences Library in Ann Arbor. Griffin said it is an event that allows people to ask questions of health volunteers who will be at the libraries during that week, so they can better understand what organ donor is all about.
Volunteers will also be able to register anyone who wants to join the organ donor registry at that time.
“The volunteers are nursing students, they’ll be at a table to help people and answer questions,” said Cristen Jackson, branch librarian for the GDL library at the Genesee Valley Center. “They’ll be able to sign-up, there will be fliers and pamphlets and lots of swag.”
Griffin said “swag” is the promotional items Gift of Life hands out, like bracelets and pens bearing the organization’s name and other important information.
Griffin, who spearheaded the program when she worked for the GDL prior to Gift of Life, said in 2016 the GDL brought in 33 new donors and another 70 signed up in 2017. Also in 2017, 125 libraries across the state took part and a total of 426 new donors were registered.
Jackson said people should check with their local library to see when the event will be held, since it will not be held in every branch and the days during the Oct. 9-15 period will vary by library.
At the Genesee Valley Branch, there will be volunteers available Oct. 9-12.
Jackson said she sees the event as a way to show how important libraries are as a focal point in the community.
“It’s a one-stop kind of place, it’s convenient,” she said. “In a diverse community, it’s a good place for people to go and get information.”
To find out when your local library is taking part in the donor registration, call your library or visit thegdl.org.