Public Libraries announces program expansion opportunity

The City of Roanoke Public Libraries are delighted to announce that its virtual programming is expanding as part of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM)’s receipt of a prestigious Network of the National Library of Medicine sub-award from the National Institutes of Health. This funding was granted for the innovative Feed, Read, and Grow librarian-pediatrician partnership’s planned programs and videos for anxiety management. The Creative Company, JOI NEURON is the collaborating entity on the videos that will integrate Health Education and Health Literacy with the creative arts of music, visual arts, and storytelling. This series was developed as pediatricians and librarians have seen instances of anxiety and depression among children and teens, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NNLM is providing $30,000 for the collaborative to write, record, and host videos for children and their caregivers on managing social anxiety, panic attacks, and other mental health topics. Through a partnership between the VCOM library, the City of Roanoke Public Libraries, and Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, these videos will serve as educational resources for our community to share knowledge about ways to promote wellness, model healthy interactions between children and caregivers, give tips for management of anxiety tailored for different age groups, and build resilience.

The City of Roanoke Public Libraries will host the video recordings on its YouTube channel for public access. In addition, the Libraries will work with community partners and the Star City Reads initiative to promote and share the video series. The Libraries will also convene partner organizations to review and assess the videos before they go live. In 2022, the Roanoke Public Libraries began hosting Feed, Read, and Grow videos around nutrition and exercise, and gathered partners for a special preview and assessment of that series.

“The City of Roanoke Public Libraries are a community center and health literacy hub,” said Sheila S. Umberger, Director of Roanoke Public Libraries. “Hosting the Feed, Read, and Grow anxiety videos on our YouTube channel will allow even more people to connect with crucial support. Just as our collection of books includes both print books and e-books, our collection of health literacy resources is accessible to both people who come into our buildings and to those who access our services virtually. It is our hope that these crucial resources will help more families navigate the challenges of youth anxiety.”

The videos will be published in the spring of 2024 with the support of Roanoke Valley Television. For more information, please contact Amanda Taylor with Roanoke Public Libraries at 540-853-1057, or by email at