Library programs help patrons stay healthy in the new year

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published January 9, 2013

ROCHESTER — If eating healthy is one of your goals for 2013, the Rochester Hills Public Library has two upcoming programs that may help you start off on the right track.

Ellen Kieta, the library’s community relations specialist, said this is the first time the library has offered programs on nutrition.

“I thought it would be appropriate for the new year, when it seems like everyone is looking for ways to improve their diet after the holidays,” Kieta said. “Our patrons will get tips on how to eat healthier and improve their eating habits, and will be able to use this information when shopping at the grocery store.”

Registration is currently under way for certified nutritionist Anne Baker’s “Nutrition 101: The Basics of Healthy Eating” presentation from 7-8:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in the library’s multipurpose room. Baker will discuss what people should really be eating to support their health so they can make informed choices.

“She will talk about what you’re hearing about healthy food, what is really correct and what is not,” Kieta added.

Although the programs are new for the library, they already seem to be popular with cardholders. At press time, approximately 88 people had registered to attend the first event, and 55 had signed up to attend the second —“Getting to Know Your Groceries,” to be held 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 21 in the multipurpose room.

During “Getting to Know Your Groceries,” Kieta said, cooking instructor, culinary speaker, recipe developer and food writer Lisa Howard will teach patrons which items are the healthiest — and tastiest — to have in the kitchen, plus how to choose them and how to use them.

“People are trying to eat healthier now, so we thought it would be a good fit,” Kieta said.

After the lectures, Adult Services Manager Rebekah Craft said, those who attend can dig into the subjects a little bit deeper by seeing what health and food-focused items the library has to offer in its collection.

“Getting books, magazines and DVDs on a subject is a great way to continue your learning process at home,” she said. “We have a variety of magazines that are very popular and have great resources for diet information, healthy recipes and new types of food that people might not be familiar cooking with, like quinoa. We also have a lot of exercise, cooking and nutrition DVDs, and a lot of books on those subjects that are very popular.”

Patrons can search the library catalog, ask a librarian for help locating items, and even make suggestions on books that might not be available for checkout.

“The gluten-free diet books are very popular right now — we have a lot of those books available. And we’re always adding the newest diet books to our collection, including the ones that are on the New York Times’ best-seller list, but if people have a new book that they’ve heard about or are interested in trying a specific diet, they can request books about that diet or they can have a librarian find one in the catalog or get it from another library for them,” Craft added.

Registration is required for both programs and is open to those with a Rochester Hills Public Library card. To register, visit or call (248) 656-2900.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester, two blocks east of Main Street, off of University Drive, on Olde Towne Road. For more information, call (248) 650-7124.