What are your health questions? The Free Library can connect you with resources to help you live a healthier lifestyle, including research tools, cooking classes, resources to help you quit smoking or increase your exercise, and information about any health condition for people of any age. Learn more about how to take charge of your health by visiting the South Philadelphia Library and the links below.



  • 2-1-1 SEPA

    Call 2-1-1 to get connected to important health and human services. You can also use their website to search.
  • Asthma

    Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, causing wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. It can affect both children and adults.

    Search for free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more.
  • Cancer

    There are many different types of cancers. Ask your doctor about your risk factors for cancer and how you can lower your risk.
  • CDC on Health Literacy

    Information and tools to improve health literacy and public health. Find health literacy activities by state, develop materials, learn about health literacy.
  • Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

    The Philadelphia Department of Public Health provides a variety of assistance for the prevention, detection, and treatment of childhood lead poisoning.
  • Coalition Against Hunger

    The Coalition Against Hunger helps people connect to food pantries and soup kitchens in their neighborhood, including options for finding food that very day. They also help people to apply for SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Households can apply for SNAP benefits by calling their hotline at 215-430-0556.
  • Community Health Explorer

    Curious about health statistics in Philadelphia? Visit the Community Health Explorer to learn more about health in your zip code.
  • Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities

    This list of resources from the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities includes help for alcohol, drugs, gambling, homeless supports, domestic violence, intellectual disAbility supports, crisis centers, and 24/7 hotlines.
  • Diabetes

    Are you at risk for prediabetes or diabetes? Check in with the CDC to find out about prevention and diabetes management, as well as diabetes programs you can enroll in near you.
  • Fact Sheet: Health Literacy and Health Outcomes

    This fact sheet summarizes key research findings on the relationship between health literacy and health outcomes.
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers

    Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are local, non-profit or city-run primary care providers serving low-income families. Find one using this search tool.
  • Food Fit Philly

    Eating healthy and being physically active can reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
  • Free Health Screenings

    The Philadelphia Department of Public Health maintains a monthly list of free health screenings across the city. Scroll down to the “Free Health Screenings in Philadelphia” section for the link to this month’s list.
  • Free Library Culinary Literacy Center

    Our Culinary Literacy Center offers a wide range of programs for eaters of all interests and tastes. Kitchen classes range from Meatless Mondays to Fish Without Fear and butchering demonstrations to salad how-tos. Free and low-cost public programs teach consumer skills that help parents make recipes fit their families’ needs and emphasize nutrition and health literacy to help with disease prevention.
  • Health and Wellness Resource Center

    The Free Library's database where you can explore different health topics
  • Health Finder

    Use this federally sponsored website tool to learn what you or a loved one can do to stay healthy.
  • Health Literacy Basics

    Definitions and answers to basic questions about health literacy provided by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Health Literacy Month's Website

    This website will provide more information on how you can help support Health Literacy Month's efforts

    Official guide to the health care, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act
  • Healthy Minds Philly is an online tool and resource to support and improve the mental health and well-being of all Philadelphians. The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) has combined its behavioral health care and intellectual disability services into one complete system as part of its public health strategy and approach.
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

    One in three adults in the United States has high blood pressure. It is important to check your blood pressure regularly.
  • Local Health Literacy Events

    A list of local health literacy events across Pennsylvania that you can attend
  • Medline Plus

    A web resource that contains reliable health information from the National Library of Medicine to help answer health questions
  • Medline Plus Health Topics

    If you are looking for information on a specific health condition, the Medline Plus list of Health Topics is a great place to start. Here are some specific health conditions that are prevalent in Philadelphia, as well as information on some of the behaviors, like smoking, exercise, and nutrition, that can contribute to health issues.
  • Obesity

    Learn about adult and childhood obesity, including the causes, the health consequences, and strategies to prevent obesity.
  • PA Forward: Healthy Literacy

    See what efforts the Pennsylvania Library Association is putting forth to promote health literacy.
  • Philadelphia Corporation for Aging: Health & Wellness

    Good health is a key component of aging well and there are many free community-based programs to help seniors improve their health. Using PCA’s event search tool, you can find events near you on health topics including nutrition, medication management, and injury prevention.
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health

    The main website for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is a great place to start researching your health questions. It connects you to information on the many health issues Philadelphians face, as well as resources for non-English speakers.
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Health: Immunization Program

    Find immunization recommendations here to make sure you and your children are up to date on all vaccines.
  • Philadelphia Health Centers

    Do you need to see a doctor? Visit this site for locations of medical services across the city.
  • Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative

    The Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative website connects to three resettlement agencies and eight refugee health clinics.
  • Philly Food Finder

    Use this tool to find food pantries, meals for seniors, soup kitchens, SHARE host sites, and farmer’s markets by typing in your address or zip code.
  • Philly Powered

    Philly Powered is part of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly initiative to promote everyday physical activity, particularly among adult men and women who are seeking to live healthier lives.
  • Point-to-Talk Booklets in 19 Languages

    These booklets, developed by the American Hospital Association, are designed to help non-English speakers talk with their doctors during appointments. They can be downloaded and printed.
  • Poison Control Center

    The Poison Control Center’s mission is to reduce the number of accidents, the severity of injuries, the number of deaths, and the healthcare costs associated with poison exposures. They can be reached at any time at 1-800-222-1222.
  • PubMed Health

    A service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) that provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions
  • Ready Philadelphia

    Part of being healthy is being prepared for emergencies. Sign up for Ready Philadelphia to get alerts about disasters, local emergencies, weather alerts, mass transit, and other important information.
  • Regional Health Literacy Coalition

    A website created by Pennsylvania's Health Literacy Coalition to improve understanding between providers and consumers of health care

    An initiative by the Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals (TJUH) to address health literacy in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Exercise DVDs by Health

Try a new workout or an old favorite with these DVDs.

View the full list

Health for Kids (32 items)

Check out some health-related books for kids and teens at the Free Library.

Health (29 items)

Here are some of the health books on the shelves of the Free Library.

Diabetes (13 items)

Learn more about diabetes and how to manage it.

Electronic Health Literacy Resources (7 items)

Check out these electronic sources to learn more about health literacy and how it can affect you!

Health Literacy 2016 (7 items)

Check out these resources to learn more about health literacy and how to best communicate health information!

Electronic Resources

Upcoming Events

Blog Posts

Health Literacy Month

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." …

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National Depression Screening Day

by Jessica Walker and Allegra D'ambruoso According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 16.2 million U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode. This represents 6.7 percent of the U.S. adult…

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Salad Science: Make a Simple Vinaigrette!

There may be no better way to dress your salad than with a healthy, homemade vinaigrette! While choosing a salad may seem like an inherently nutritious option (and it often is!), adding the wrong dressing can drown out the health…

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Workshops and Resources for Teens Navigating Uncertain Times

This is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety for everyone. But if you're a teenager, you may be feeling especially vulnerable. The Free Library is bringing you a series of workshops over the next several days to help you process…

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#MaskUpPHL: Why, When, and How to Use a Mask

Updated June 29, 2020 10:00 a.m. On Friday, June 26, 2020, Mayor Kenney signed a Mandatory Mask Order , which requires masks to be worn in any indoor public spaces and outdoors if there is less than six feet between people from…

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Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Thai Citrus Salad

Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center. The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. While Free…

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Tips and Suggestions for Juggling Work from Home and Homeschooling Duties

It's been 8 weeks since Philadelphia schools closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic , leaving parents and caregivers pivoting back and forth between work schedules and full-time childcare, amongst other concerns. Last week was the first…

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5 FAQs for Food Safety During COVID-19 and Tons of Reliable Resources

These are scary times, and there is a lot of false information out there, so it’s important to make sure that you are finding answers using reliable resources. Questions about food safety during this crisis have become a hot…

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Straight from the Source—Philly Tap Water is Safe and Delicious!

As we have all come to learn recently, finding certain items at the grocery store or through online shopping has become much more difficult than usual. Shelves are often cleared of milk, bread, eggs… and bottled water?  The…

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Join the Free Library for Online Storytimes and Virtual Activities!

**Upated to reflect new virtual programs on March 26 at 3:23 p.m.** While we’re sad that our buildings are closed for now , our Free Library librarians and staff members are taking some of your favorite programs online…

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Everything You Need to Know About the Coronavirus

***Updated 3:45 p.m. March 4, 2020: Due to the evolving nature and recommendations about the COVID-19 coronavirus, parts of this post may be out of date. For the latest information from the Health Department, please visit their COVID-19…

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Stay Fit—Borrow a Home Gym Kit!

New year, new you! Let one of our new Home Gym Kits help support your health and fitness goals. You can use your library card to borrow the kit for up to two weeks.  Inside the kit you will find: A non-slip yoga mat…

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Michelle Obama Grows a Garden

Today is the birthday of celebrated former First Lady and citizen of the world, Michelle Obama . A political figure in her own right, Michelle Obama is well known for her healthy eating campaign, Lets Move! The campaign targeted…

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Let the Free Library Help You with Your New Year’s Resolution!

Can you believe we’re about to turn the page on this decade and welcome 2020? I sure can’t! With every passing year – but particularly a momentous one like this – I can’t help but turn my attention to goals…

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Kids Need Green Time, Even in the Snow!

The Free Library is here to help your family find their Winter Wonderland! Nurture Minds and Spirits, Young and Old New research suggests that regular exposure to green spaces, or natural landscapes, can lower stress, combat depression…

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The Breast Cancer Journey Illustrated Through Graphic Novels

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month , a time to learn about prevention and treatment. However, I think it's also a time where we can agree that breast cancer is very rude. According to recent studies, about 1 in 8…

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The ABCs of CBD

If you've been in Center City recently, you can't walk 10 feet without finding Cannabidiol or CBD advertised on merchandise ranging from lotions and potions to patches and pet supplies.  It's all the…

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A Library Card Keeps You Movin’ and Groovin’

Thanks to the Free Library’s huge selection of digital media , most of our patrons know that their library cards gain them access to books, music, movies, and more that travel with them—on the trolley, around the…

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Overdose Awareness and Prevention

International Overdose Awareness Day is Saturday, August 31. The aim is to raise awareness and acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or suffered injury as a result of a drug overdose. As…

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