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 The Skin Deep Project: Skin Health Library Programs 

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Skin is the body's largest organ. It's also the most visible. A square inch of skin has millions of cells and many nerve endings for sensing temperature, pain, pressure, and touch. It keeps us sheltered from the elements and protects our insides from drying up. Yet despite its toughness, skin is sensitive and can be damaged if not cared for. It requires our protection from the sun and from irritants. 

With funding from Neutrogena, AAAS’s Skin Deep Project has awarded grants to 13 public libraries to do skin health outreach during the fall of 2009. As part of the project, libraries will develop a skin-related program around topics found in the new publication, The Science Inside Skin. This book provides extremely useful and important information that people should be aware of regarding their skin and skin health. General topic areas include: skin health, sun exposure and skin cancer, and, skin disorders and treatment.

Below are abstracts of the 13 programs selected to receive funding from the Skin Deep Project.

Lafourche Parish Public Library
Thibodaux, LA

Made in the Shade: Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Skin Cancer

With an adult and a children’s program running simultaneously, this family-oriented program will have something for everyone. We will be partnering with the Cancer Center of Thibodaux to give adults information on how to protect themselves and family members from skin cancer and sun damage. After the presentation there will be a question and answer session and each person attending will be gifted with a goody bag containing samples of sunscreen and information cards with skin-care tips. While the adults are attending their program, children can participate in a storytime and craft activity in the Children’s Department centered on protection from the sun’s harmful rays. 

Get the Skin-ny on Skin Health

The library and an area dermatologist will be partnering to present teens with information on skin cancer prevention, the dangers of tanning beds, how to deal with acne and general skin care tips. After the presentation there will be a question and answer session and all teens attending will be gifted with a goody bag that includes samples of sunscreen and information cards with skin care tips. 


Massanutten Regional Library
Harrisonburg, VA

Skin Cancer - Only Mad Dogs and Englishmen

At the first a local dermatologist will describe the normal behaviors that lead to skin cancer; the types of skin cancer to which most of us are at risk; the treatment of the cancers and prognosis for health. 

Skin Care and Health for Bella and Edward

At the second program, aimed at a young audience, a local dermatologist will talk about skin health, good practices to maintain healthy skin, and the effects of body ornamentation and its consequences to the skin and rest of the body. 

The library will also provide a bibliography of print and electronic resources [also posted on the library's website], distributed at the programs and within the local middle and high schools if possible. 


Mount Pleasant Regional Library
Mt. Pleasant, SC 

Skin Health Fair

Adults and teens are invited to participate in a "skin health fair." Participants may choose from "stations" with information about skin health topics such as skin cleansing and acne control; basic skin cancer screening; how to do a skin self-exam; the importance of moisturizing; questions about skin conditions such as psoriasis or rosacea; etc. Posters about the skin, made by local middle school students, will also be on display.


Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library
Topeka, KS

Brims and Books: A Sun Hat Literacy Project for Babies

Crazy Extreme Science: You and UV

Under the Gun: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting a Tattoo

The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library will present 3 programs for children, parents, and teens this autumn as part of the AAAS Skin Deep Project. As Kansas is a state of sunflowers and lots of sunshine, our focus for parents and young children is sun protection. In our Brims and Books program, parents with babies and toddlers will receive a sun hat for their little one along with information about sun protection and easy ways they can keep children safe and happy in the sun. This information will be packaged so that it can easily slip into a diaper bag-right next to a board book. In our Crazy Extreme Science Program, elementary and middle school students will create necklaces and bracelets using UV sensitive beads. When exposed to sunlight, the beads change colors, reminding kids to put on sunscreen and a hat. Our teen program will focus on tattoos. We will have a local tattoo artist and anthropologist present an educational program for teens, one that provides solid information about the risks associated with tattoos and gives teens opportunities to ask questions from a professional in the business. All our programs will include information packets about this project and we will be partnering with local health agencies to promote this unique programming opportunity. 


Delaware Academy of Medicine working with Sussex County Libraries
Sussex County, DE

Protect Your Skin - Avoid Skin Cancer Exhibit

Linda Leonard, the Consumer Health Librarian for the Sussex County, Delaware community libraries, will be creating an exhibit, Protect Your Skin – Avoid Skin Cancer. This exhibit will rotate through the 13 libraries in the County, staying in each library for 2 weeks. The exhibit, through the use of pictures and key information will demonstrate the positive and negative effects of sunlight; the characteristics of the 3 types of skin cancer and the ABCD rule, as well as a guide to sunscreen. There will be a short quiz for people to take about the information presented in the exhibit, and this form will serve as a raffle entry ticket.

Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library
Presque Isle, ME

Winter Recreation and Your Skin: Protecting Yourself Against the Elements

This November, the Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library of Presque Isle, Maine will be partnering with area organizations in providing month-long programming on winter skin care and skin cancer prevention. This program will include on-site seminars for the public, online awareness campaigns, and community outreach to groups involved in winter recreation activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, and ice fishing.


North Scituate Public Library
North Scituate, RI

The Skinny on Skin, or, Scituate Knows Important News about Skin

The North Scituate Public Library, in conjunction with the Scituate Health Alliance, will dedicate the month of October to Healthy Skin Education. Activities include: 1. A Board displaying information about maintaining healthy skin combined with a questionnaire-- those who correctly complete the questionnaire will be entered into a drawing for a Gift Basket; 2. Information activity sheets and bookmarks for children; 3. Parents/caregivers of pre-school children will be presented a program on healthy skin care during story times; 4. A program for tweens and teens on the importance of maintaining healthy skin; 5. Informative computer wallpaper & screensavers will be developed for the library computers; 6. The Scituate Health Alliance will provide information to school nurses at the Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, and to the local Senior center; 7. A town wide skin screening clinic will be offered by the Scituate Health Alliance; and 8. the library will purchase materials, at all reading levels, about skin health and safety, for people to borrow. 


Shelbyville-Shelby County Public Library
Shelbyville, IN 

The Skin You’re In: What You Need to Know

On Thursday, October 8th, 2009 from 6:30-8:30pm, the Shelbyville-Shelby County Public Library in Shelbyville, IN will be offering the following presentation: The Skin You’re In: What You Need to Know. A panel discussion has been coordinated with local medical experts to answer your questions about skin cancer prevention, treatment, and risk factors. Find out what a full body skin cancer screening entails and about the warning signs and symptoms of skin cancer. Learn basic skin care essentials and nourish your skin with a mini spa treatment at the end of the evening. Black light screenings for patrons’ hands and faces along with the opportunity to set-up appointments for full body screenings will be offered after the presentation. The library is working with Major Hospital, the Benesse Oncology Center, the American Cancer Society and ShelbyGo to offer this free event. No reservations are required. Door prizes will be awarded. Dr. Bala Rangaswami, MD Internal Medicine; Dr. Christopher Rehme, MD Dermatology; and Mindy Clark, National Certified Spa Trainer are scheduled to present. 


Upper Darby Township and Sellers Memorial Free Library
Upper Darby, PA

Trauma-Free Tans

Upper Darby Sellers Library's Trauma-Free Tans program will be presented in the fall of 2009 to teens girls in grades 8 to 12. The 1 1/2 hour program will have both instructional and interactive elements. A local board-certified dermatologist will start the program with an educational presentation about the science of UVA and UVB radiation, skin damage, and skin cancer. Teens will receive copies of The Science Inside Skin for further reading. They will then participate in group discussions on tanning by rotating through tables with different discussion topics, such as tanning downsides, social pressures, myths and truths of skin care, and special occasion tanning. Each table will be covered with white butcher block paper to encourage everyone to add to the conversation through writing and drawing, with Teen Advisory Board members acting as table moderators. The teens will later have the opportunity to examine brands of self-tanner including sprays, lotions, and towelettes. Neutrogena products will be among those available to examine. The program will end with snacks that promote healthy skin. While teens are eating, the young adult librarian will booktalk from a display of books on the topic of skin care, health, and nutrition. Participants will take home a pamphlet of books and websites that may be helpful on the topics of tanning and skin care.


Portneuf District Library
Chubbuck, ID

Skin Deep-Get Real, Get Fit!

The Portneuf District Library's Skin Deep-Get Real, Get Fit! program will be held in October. We will promote the program through posters at schools, library calendars, newspaper articles, television interviews and on the library web site. We will register up to 75 Adolescents and their parents or caregivers. Community partners will provide snacks, information stations, skin health samplers and activities designed to promote skin health. Each adolescent participant will receive a Skin Deep-Get Real, Get Fit! T-shirt and other incentives provided by partners. Skin Health knowledge will be determined through Pre and Post testing. Attendance will also be an evaluative indicator. Grant funds will be used to purchase t-shirts for participants. Any additional funds will be used to purchase books that educate adolescents on skin health/care. 


Coquitlam Public Library
Coquitlam,
Bristish Columbia, Canada

Healthy Skin

The Coquitlam Public Library is proud to be one of 13 selected libraries to receive an AAAS Skin Deep Library project grant, that will allow us to offer a Science Literacy program called "Healthy Skin" this October. The Healthy Skin program will be marketed to our local community and social service organizations, and will introduce participants to The Science Inside: Skin, a new publication from AAAS, with funding from Neutrogena. This publication is written for the lay person, with easy to follow chapters, text, illustrations and photos. We hope our Healthy Skin program will help educate and inform, and answer questions about the human body's largest organ. 


Hamilton-Wenham Public Library
S. Hamilton, MA

Your Skin is for Life: Make it Last!

The Hamilton-Wenham Public Library in Hamilton, Massachusetts is the only regional library in the state. We are excited to bring more awareness of skin cancer prevention and healthy skin care through the AAAS Skin Deep Project. Library staff will use this grant to promote skin health through new materials, displays and programs. We will utilize National Skin Care Awareness Month in September as a kick-off to draw attention to educational information and promote our upcoming programs. Dr. Cerima Durokovic, a local dermatologist will present an intergenerational program concerning skin cancer prevention, Vitamin D, and understanding SPF on October 22, 2009. We are currently working on providing an additional fall program with a local esthetician on skin health for teens and adults. We will also partner with Maria Lekkakos, Miss Massachusetts 2004, and owner of M. Lekkakos Salon in Wenham to provide samples of skin care products. We appreciate this opportunity to focus on these issues in our community. Your Skin is for Life: Make it Last!


Red Feather Lakes Community Library
Red Feather Lakes
, CO

Skin Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Screening

With this fantastic AAAS Skin Deep Library Project mini-grant, the Red Feather Lakes Community Library will be expanding our educational outreach programs focusing on skin cancer awareness, education and prevention. Most of our residents live at elevations greater than 8,000 feet with an active, outdoor lifestyle that is wonderful for fitness but risky for skin exposure and skin cancer. The library will also be working in collaboration with the Red Feather Medical Clinic to offer free skin screenings by physicians to our area residents.