Delaware Libraries Broadening Horizons with More Telehealth Kiosks

A greater number of telehealth kiosks are available within Delaware libraries.

DELAWARE- State libraries are expanding how they serve their communities.

Telehealth kiosks can now be found in about half of the libraries throughout Delaware. The kiosks serve as a quiet space for community members to take care of private meetings. 

The kiosk in Dover's Public Library has been there for months, but only recently got up and running once all of its parts came in. 

It's used for a wide variety of tasks such as remote doctors appointments, legal services, immigration services and court dates. 

The initiative was funded by Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester's office. 

Delaware's State Librarian, Dr. Annie Norman, said it was a journey to get everything squared away. 

"It took us a long time to process the paperwork for the grants," Norman said. "The kiosks help everyone with their paperwork but we have our own to deal with." 

There are five kiosks in Sussex County, seven in New Castle, and one in Kent County. 

To expand the project further, Norman said additional staffing is needed. 

"The greatest need is to have more and more assistance," she said. "Typically if people come in and need help they need some hand holding and we need people who know how to do all of the different paperwork and how to sign up for the services."

Those who provide assistance at the kiosks are known as 'navigators' or 'specialists.'

Milford's Public Library has had a telehealth kiosk for more than a year. The assistant director there, Sarah Yatuzis, said the program has had a significant impact. 

“It is probably the best part of the job and I think anyone who works here would say the same," Yatuzis said. "It is really nice to see someone come in who doesn't know where they can go for help and then be able to connect them to something so they leave more hopeful than they came in." 

Some Delaware libraries have telehealth centers in separate rooms rather than kiosks. Norman said libraries which are currently under construction have been asked to designate a space for telehealth centers. One being the upcoming Harrington Public Library. 

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