October is Health Literacy Month and certainly in October 2020—health is on everyone’s mind. At the Free Library, "literacy" is one of our favorite words, as it means "being able to understand." Information literacy is the ability to understand how to find and use information. Health literacy is simply the ability to access and understand reliable sources of information about health.
Getting to talk to a doctor is especially hard these days and we may find it necessary to take our understanding of health into our own hands. It is reasonable to turn to "Dr. Google" when you have a health question. This can be risky when bad and contradictory health claims are made online, in the news, and even by our leaders.
Your neighborhood library can help! You can borrow the latest health-related books in our catalog. Even as some of our libraries are temporarily closed you can place a hold on a book and arrange to pick it up at the door of a nearby branch.
There is also a library-sized amount of reliable health and medicine resources you can access right here on our website. A great place to start is our Healthy Communities Explore Topic. You'll find links to industry-approved databases such as the Health and Wellness Resource Center and Medline Plus, as well as health-related virtual events (chair yoga, anyone?), author talks, and links to free health and nutrition services in Philadelphia.
In the following video, librarians from Northeast Regional Library guide you through some of our latest health books and online resources. If you have questions about finding reliable health information, give us a call at 1-833-TALKFLP. Staff at the Free Library are your health literacy experts.