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.
  • City of Philadelphia Action Guide - Protecting access to abortion services

    To help you understand your rights and protections, the City of Philadelphia is creating action guides on federal policies. The action guides include facts, ways you can help, and other resources.
  • 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

Exercise DVDs by Health

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

View the full list

Health for Kids by Health

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

View the full list

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

Exercising With Baby: Babies Need Exercise, Too!

Hey there, new parents and caregivers! It's time to get those little bundles of joy moving and grooving — babies need exercise too! Picture this: your adorable baby, exploring the world with those tiny hands and…

Related Tags

Penn Med's Health Talk Tuesdays

The Science and Wellness Department invites you to explore and learn about health topics in a new program series. Introducing Penn Med's Health Talk Tuesdays !  Skip the waiting room and hear about the latest health advice and…

Related Tags

Observing Mental Health Awareness Month With the Free Library

May 1 begins Mental Health Awareness Month; this is a time to think more about our mental health journeys. Mental Health Awareness Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness about the importance of mental health in the…

Related Tags

What's Your New Year's Resolution for 2023?

We're about to embark on a new year, and even if you're not a New Year's Resolution person, you might view this time of year - and the turning of the calendar - as a chance to evaluate goals for the next 12…

Related Tags

Empathy Versus Misinformation: Transgender Youth Panel Series

Lately, transgender and gender non-conforming youth have been a hot topic across the nation. Many people feel confused, even panicked, and it can be hard to tell what claims being made are even true. We've assembled a panel of…

Related Tags

April is Stress Awareness Month

It’s never too late to take personal inventory and check in with yourself. How is your mental health? When was the last time you drank some water or ate a fully balanced meal? Can you remember the last time you inhaled and exhaled…

Related Tags

The Free Library and You: New Year’s Resolutions in 2022!

Can you believe we’re about to turn the page on another (long, strange, COVID-19 filled...) year? I know I can't!  While I've never really been a big New Year's Resolution person, I do appreciate how the…

Related Tags

COVID-19 Vaccine Approved for Children and Available in Philadelphia

The FDA has approved a COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11—just in time for the holidays! The holiday season is usually a time for family and friends to gather and share food and fun. For the past year and a half, however,…

Related Tags

It’s National Immunization Awareness Month!

by Lillian B. and Jake T. Afraid of shots or needles? Have questions about protecting your health? Get excited to learn with us this National Immunization Awareness Month ! Primarily, immunizations are most effective when given to…

Related Tags

Baking with Becca: Cooking Outside the Box... Chicken and Potatoes

This week at Whitman Library  we are making a simple meal of Chicken and Potatoes that can be tweaked and flavored to your preferences! Baking with Becca at Whitman Library I prepared and cooked chicken two ways because we are…

Related Tags

Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

by Breshay Woods, Culinary Literacy Center Intern Edible Alphabet  is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's  Culinary Literacy Center . Our mission is to teach English language…

Related Tags

Baking with Becca: Cooking Outside the Box

Baking with Becca began at Whitman Library , nestled between 2nd and 3rd Streets on Snyder Avenue in South Philly. When COVID hit, we had to take a long break. I continued to grow and learn to strengthen this class and to steel myself…

Related Tags

I Belong: Facing COVID-19 with Wellness and Resilience

The Languages and Learning Center (LLC) supports the individual literacy and learning goals of Philadelphia adults, including resources for Adult Basic Education, language learning, and digital literacy.  This guest blog post is…

Related Tags

Stocking Up Food for the Winter

Written by Alex Evenson, Philabundance Nutrition Educator, with additions from Caity Rietzen, Culinary Literacy Center Supervisor Frozen peas, canned beans, and potato chips. What do these three food items have in common? Since the…

Related Tags

Cooking with Pomegranates: Seeds the Day!

Pomegranates! They are unique red fruits filled with many juicy seeds, with a sweet and tart taste. While these fruits grow in warmer climates, they can be available in some local Philly stores in the fall and early winter months. …

Related Tags

Brighten Up Your Thanksgiving Table

Written by Alex Evenson, Philabundance Nutrition Educator, with additions from Caity Rietzen, Culinary Literacy Center Supervisor   Cooking is a wonderful way to bring people together, and while this year's holiday will be…

Related Tags

Using the City's Online Maps to Find Free Food Distribution and COVID-19 Testing Sites

As COVID-19 cases surge in our city, Philadelphia health officials have announced a new Safer at Home plan, which aims to limit the spread of this virus through this difficult period. Vaccines for COVID-19 are currently under…

Related Tags

Philadelphia Announces New "Safer at Home" Restrictions and Closures to Fight Rising COVID-19 Cases

In response to rising COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia, the City and Department of Public Health have announced changes to restrictions on businesses, events, and gatherings, and other activities to help flatten the epidemic curve,…

Related Tags

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." …

Related Tags

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…

Related Tags