In 2021 the San Diego State University Library received $1,500 in the Collection Equity and Outreach Award from the Network of the National Library of Medicine, Region 5 to promote diversity and inclusion in health literature. Over the 2021-2022 academic year we purchased 54 books addressing health related topics affecting underrepresented groups. In Fall 2022 we created an interactive display in the research services area of the library to promote these additions to our collection.
Along with featuring some of the books purchased with the grant, we included a writing prompt and sticky notes. The writing prompt was simple: Let’s Talk Health Equity. We also included a poster with additional information about the grant, goals, and questions to encourage further reflection on the topic.
We received 72 comments via sticky notes over the course of one month at the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester. After taking down the display we reviewed the comments and sorted them into categories. From these categories we came up with 13 separate themes. Below is a list of the comments we received sorted by category.
|Getting enough sleep!|
|Full nights sleep|
Not wearing a mask
|Not going to work|
|No joint pain|
|No back pain :)|
|Not being in massive debt, because sickness means hospital bills|
|Having enough money so I don’t worry about everything|
|Getting social w/ others, Getting out|
|Having friendships/ relationships/ support|
|Lookin for people to vibe with :) and party afropadre69 and to go to punk shows|
|Time- time to be with loved ones|
|(Being happy) Having Immaculate Rizz :)|
|Having autonomy over my body|
|Look good, feel good, play good, get paid good|
|Jacked and Stacked|
|Raving + Snowboardn|
|Being in shape|
|When you aren't sad regarding your body :)|
|Looking at myself naked in the mirror being proud|
|to take care of yourself|
|Feeling good about yourself + Being able to do whatever you love|
|Self love & healthy boundaries|
|Prioritize health + body+ mind over all <3|
|Being really stoned|
|Nothing, yolo, rip drugs|
|Being happy, feeling good, whatever that means 4 u|
|Prerequisite for happiness <3|
|Making sure everyone around is happy + content (HAPPY VIBEZ ONLY)|
|Gal 4:28 "But the Jerusalem that is above is free + she is our mother."|
|Peace of mind :)|
|Peace of mind|
|Feeling good and slay|
|Bitches + Gym + Learning|
|Getting enough sleep (8 hours) 2) Being in shape #) [De-stressing myself through selfcare] (music, drawing, talking to friends/family)|
|Loving yourself and being happy :)|
|Health is wealth|
Students have their own way of communicating about health, often using slang, jokes, and pop culture references. The following are words and references that we had to Google.
Plandle - a mix between the words “plastic” and “handle” to describe cheap alcohol that comes in a plastic container with a handle
TFGH [Multiple possibilities] - one possible definition, Task Force for Global Health
Rizz - charisma
Deesh - plural for douche
We were surprised and excited to receive so many sticky note comments for this display. It was encouraging to see students willing to share their thoughts on health equity. There were so many different perspectives on health beyond what we had originally expected. One of the most surprising themes that came from the comments was the connection between relationships and health.
These comments were informal and had to fit on a 3X3 sticky note. There wasn't room for a lot of context or other details. We are interested in finding other ways to continue the conversation.
New display for 2023 Collection Equity and Outreach Award! We will use student comments to inform our purchases for this year's grant. With this new display we would like to consider new ways to continue and deepen the conversation about what health means to our students