Libraries join statewide initiative to save lives

Gift of Life Michigan logo

ANN ARBOR, MI – Michigan Libraries for Life and Gift of Life Michigan announced today that libraries across the state will be participating in a seven-day campaign to inspire residents to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. The libraries involved in the campaign are located throughout Michigan, from Houghton to Dearborn and from South Haven to Detroit. Volunteers and library staff will answer questions, provide fun give-away items and, most importantly, help library patrons sign up as organ, eye, and tissue donors.

The Michigan Libraries for Life campaign began five years ago at the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library and has expanded to include academic, hospital, and public libraries. Each library determines its own donor drive schedule within the designated week and arranges for volunteers to staff the table. Many of the participating libraries are displaying the “Memories from Michigan” donor family quilts, which tell the stories of organ, tissue, and eye donors through panels that have been personalized by their families.

Donate Life America has recognized the Michigan Libraries For Life program as one of the top outreach programs in the country. Michigan Libraries For Life will be awarded the Platinum Pinnacle Award during Donate Life America’s annual meeting in October 2015. Donate Life America is a not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation.

Since its inception, Michigan Libraries For Life has inspired 2,450 people to sign up as organ, tissue and eye donors. “This program is successful because libraries are a trusted source for information, and they make it easy to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry,” explained Kate Saylor, Informationist at Taubman Health Sciences Library and lead organizer of the event. Saylor is delighted that Michigan Libraries for Life has extended its reach across the state; last year’s effort included 70 participating libraries. “People in every community can participate, thanks to our library partners.”

“This campaign provides hope to every one of the 3,500 Michigan patients waiting for an organ transplant,” said Gift of Life Michigan’s CEO, Richard Pietroski. “Libraries are a natural place to go for information and community services. This program is a great way to educate Michigan residents about organ, tissue and eye donation, and to provide library patrons the opportunity to join the state’s Donor Registry.”

Additional information and a state map showing all the participating libraries are available at librariesforlife.org. Michigan residents who join the state’s Donor Registry will receive a red heart donor symbol for the front of their driver’s license or state ID card. You can sign up at a participating library, at giftoflifemichigan.org or by calling 866-500-5801. You can also join the Donor Registry at any Secretary of State office.

The Taubman Health Sciences Library delivers high-quality health and biomedical information services to the University of Michigan’s academic health sciences schools, basic and clinical research, bioinformatics and clinical translational science, and the U-M Health System.

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 the services needed for organ, tissue and eye donation for the state.

Michigan Libraries For Life donor drive dates are Monday, October 5, 2015 – Sunday, October 11, 2015. Contact information: MichLib4Life@umich.edu, info@giftoflifemichigan.org

The 2014-2016 Michigan Libraries for Life was generously funded with a Community Grant from the Gift of Life Foundation.

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