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Our Library Project

Theresa Weigel
Brookville KS USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 40 No. 4, August-September 2004, pp. 80-81.

The children’s television program, "Reading Rainbow," tells viewers that they can learn about anything in a book. LLL of Kansas, USA wholeheartedly agrees that The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is just that kind of book. The voices of mother-to-mother support spring forward from the pages of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. To demonstrate their belief, LLL of Kansas and their Area Council provided each public library in the state with a copy of the 2004 edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

Area Leaders chose this project after a brainstorming session to find a way to bring breastfeeding help to as many women and their babies as possible. The Area Council created several pages full of numerous ideas, both big and small. We all eventually agreed that the "WAB Library Project," as we called it, was promising and feasible given our resources and determination.

With vast areas of Kansas underserved by La Leche League Groups, the value of having this book available to everyone through each of the 386 Kansas public libraries is limitless. The following steps were taken to make this project as easy and successful as possible:

1. We sent each librarian a letter that explained the donation.
2. We included in each book’s inside cover a bookplate that reads the following:

This book was donated by La Leche League of Kansas. Since 1961, La Leche League of Kansas has provided support and information to mothers interested in nursing their babies. Groups are located throughout Kansas. To learn more about breastfeeding or to find a La Leche League Leader or Group near you, call 1-800-515-3243 or visit www.lalecheleague.org.

3. We created a press release for each local Leader to personalize and submit to her newspaper (see box below for complete press release).

The Kansas Area made arrangements to buy a total of 600 copies of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding for the library project. In addition to donating copies to every public library, we also donated copies to each Leader and each LLL Group Library in Kansas. Some books were given to Groups for resale.

The "WAB Library Project" required us to coordinate the delivery of books, purchase special envelopes, and create and edit labels, letters, and press releases. Many hands made light work as the Area Council team put it all together at the opening of its biannual meeting. With the preliminary bill in from Postal Presort ($772 US), the total cost for the "WAB Library Project" was $5,319.52 (US), which we believe was a good investment of Kansas La Leche League’s capital, in both human and fiscal terms.
Less than 48 hours after the books were mailed, this acknowledgement below was received from Elizabeth Turner, Director of Oswego Public Library, after receiving a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding:

My name is Elizabeth Turner and I am the Director of the Oswego Public Library. I wanted to email the person responsible for sending The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding to our Library. I have had several young mothers approach our Library to see if we owned it and if they could check it out. My copy from the 1980s just couldn’t hold up anymore. I would appreciate it very much if you would forward this message to the appropriate person. Thank you again so very much.

This came from Marilyn Wade, the Inman, Kansas Library Director:


Thank you for the donation of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. It is a welcome addition to the library. Please pass our thanks to the rest of the Council members.

Kansas Leader from Great Bend, Robin Rziha, sent this note:

I just returned from storytime with my son, Paul, at the Claflin Township Library. The librarian had the WAB on her desk and was so pleased that we were able to do this mailing for the state of Kansas libraries.

Just as the mother-to-mother network of support through La Leche League meetings has encouraged an untold number of women to breastfeed, our "WAB Library Project" has the potential of influencing countless Kansas mothers, many of whom we may never meet.

Theresa Weigel, accredited in 1983, has held a variety of Area Council positions with La Leche League of Kansas, USA, and is currently a new Communications Skills Instructor. She is married to Maure and is the mother of three children: Marie (25), Aaron (22), and Adam (16). Theresa feels fortunate to be in the company of dedicated Kansas La Leche League Leaders who share the enthusiasm and creativity to accomplish this outreach.

LLL Kansas Press Release

Kansas (2004): The newly revised THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING has been donated to every public library in the state of Kansas by La Leche League of Kansas. This classic book has been revised for the next generation.

New to this edition are:

  • Current research on unique aspects of human milk
  • New explanations of how the breast makes milk
  • New photos and stories
  • Details about effective positioning and latch-on
  • Suggestions for using herbs and medications to increase milk supply
  • Use of nipple shields and breast compression to assist babies with problems
  • New information on tandem nursing and breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery
  • Simplified breakdown of components in human milk
  • Lists of supportive organizations and Web sites for parents

[Leader Name], local La Leche League Leader, helped arrange for this donation through the state organization. Since 1961, La Leche League of Kansas has provided support and information to mothers interested in nursing their babies. Besides the local organization, Groups are located throughout Kansas. LLL of [Town] meets [time, day of week, place].

LLLI is a nonprofit organization that provides breastfeeding information and encouragement through mother-to-mother support groups and interaction with parents, physicians, researchers, and health care providers. The organization reaches over 300,000 women monthly in 62 countries. For more information about the benefits of breastfeeding or help in contacting a local La Leche League Group, call [Leader Phone Number] or visit our Web site at www.lalecheleague.org.

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