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Library promotes organ donation

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 30, 2015

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The Troy Public Library will be part of the Michigan Libraries for Life, Gift of Life Michigan program Oct. 5-11.

The 2014-2016 Michigan Libraries for Life program was funded with a grant from the Gift of Life Foundation.

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 of the services needed for organ and tissue donation for the state.

Volunteers and library staff will answer questions, give away freebies, and help patrons sign up to be organ and tissue donors and join the state’s donor registry.

About 3,400 Michigan patients are waiting for organ transplants, according to Gift of Life Michigan.

“It’s really a quick and easy process,” Cherie Edmonds, adult services librarian for the Troy Public Library, said of the process to become a donor. Volunteers will be at tables to answer questions, and if volunteers are unavailable, librarians at the Adult Services Reference Desk will hand out information and help patrons sign up for the registry.

According to Michigan Libraries for Life, although over 95 percent of Americans support organ, tissue and eye donation, only 50 percent of adults in Michigan have joined the state registry.

Kate Saylor, health sciences informationist for the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan, said the program started with an outreach event at that library in 2010 and has grown every year. It now includes public, academic, special and hospital libraries across the state.

Over 2,400 people have signed up as donors since the initiative started in 2010. 

“We were were hoping for 100 libraries this year,” Saylor said.

So far, 122 libraries are participating in this year’s event.

“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback,” Saylor said. “We’re hoping to expand it to outside of the state.”

Michigan residents who join the state donor registry will receive a red heart donor symbol for the front of their driver’s license or state ID card.

For people who don’t bring a driver’s license, there will be information provided on how to sign up for the donor registry online, over the phone or by mail.

More information is available on the Troy library website, www.troypl.org,  and www.giftoflifemichigan.org, or call (866) 500-5801.

The Troy Public Library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road. For information, call (248) 524-3534.

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