Libraries aren’t terribly well known for their cuisine, but that didn’t stop Champion Public Library from teaching a class on cooking and canning homemade healthy apple butter.
Funds for the class and others came from a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant specifically provides $9,000 to the library to promote health literacy.   
“This is what I do, I can do anything so long as its health-related and what’s been really successful for me is this canning stuff,” reference and adult services librarian Pam Bean said. “You control what goes in there, the sugar, the butter, the salt.”
The library has received the same grant for the last four years, using it to teach classes on everything from properly reading prescription labels to health fairs to exercise classes.
“I’m going to do Tai Chi class here that’s going to be taught by someone from the health department,” Bean said. “We also do chair exercise classes at the Veterans Center. I couldn’t buy hand sanitizer and give it away, but I could do a class on washing your hands.”
So far, the library has acquired an electric pressure cooker, hot plate, microwave and various appliances to create a makeshift kitchen.
“I don’t know what exactly were going to do with all this stuff, we’re running out of space,” Bean said.
Danielle Wells, OSU Extension Center family and consumer science educator, volunteered to demonstrate safe canning during the class, something she said she often sees people misunderstand.  
“I had one given to me and when my husband opened it, it shot out like a volcano,” Wells said. “It turned solid white. They had used a mayonnaise jar or a fudge jar from the grocery store, not a canning jar. Honestly, I don’t know why it did that. Maybe the bacteria was started to build up. We always go by USDA guidelines.”   
Jars need to be sanitized, filled properly, checked thoroughly for any chips or cracks and rims need to be thoroughly cleaned before the jar is sealed. Wells also said that online canning communities sometimes disseminate information that may be less effective or even dangerous.