Health Literacy is the ability to understand basic health and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Libraries are a natural service to use when trying to find information on living a healthy lifestyle. That’s why health literacy is recognized by PA Forward as one of the five categories of literacy which is essential for community members.
PA Forward is an initiative designed by the Pennsylvania Library Association to create a future where all Pennsylvania public, special, academic and school libraries unite in a shared vision of helping residents succeed as citizens, parents, students, employers, employees and consumers.
The Scranton Public Library has a variety of resources and programs available to patrons throughout the year to support Health Literacy in our community.
• Nonfiction collection of health books covering a range of topics from heart health, diabetes, mental health, yoga, exercise for people of all ages, cookbooks, and the latest diet trends
• Maker Monday Programs: These programs, in partnership with Geisinger and several other local organizations, are one-hour workshops or lectures on health topics.
• Reference Collection of Health Books: The reference collection includes medical dictionaries, which are most helpful when understanding how to talk to your doctor.
• Fiction and nonfiction book collections: fiction and nonfiction books are available to children and their families when finding ways to communicate when someone doesn’t feel well.
• Helping Children Cope Kits: these kits cover a range of topics of mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. These kits include DVDs, books, and magazines on the related topic which children and families can use together. They can be checked out just like a regular book.
• Fun & Informative Programs: Throughout the year, the Children’s Library hosts story times about all kinds of literacy topics, including health. We also partner with local organizations and colleges, including our area’s medical college to provide events such as Teddy Bear Clinic.
Every February, the Scranton District Dental Society sponsors Tooth Fairy Day at the Library. Children learn about good dental health tips and get their photo taken with the Tooth Fairy.
Kids in the Kitchen, sponsored by the Junior League of Scranton, teaches children how to make easy healthy snacks.
Yoga for Kids is a program for children in grades 4-6 to practice meditation techniques and yoga exercises together. The program is usually run twice a year for several weeks in partnership with a local yoga instructor.
Cruise into Kindergarten is a new program at the Library designed to prepare children before they go into Kindergarten for the first time. The program is held on a weekly basis, two times a week for several weeks. Each session allows children to practice their Kindergarten skills, including how to maneuver the new world of the cafeteria!