Health Literacy Begins @ the Library

“If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911.”

That advice, heard when you call a doctor’s office or pharmacy, applies here, too, but for routine medical questions, research shows that more people look online than see a doctor on a typical day. Yet research also shows that only one online link in five leads to relevant health information.

For the most accurate information available online, use our website, where health information is first vetted by professional librarians so that you can be assured that what you will find will be good for you.

Here are some of the online health resources that you can find at, the virtual library of the Lackawanna County Library System.

Gale Health & Wellness Resource Center: Access to full text medical journals, magazines and reference works.  It provides information on diseases, conditions, drugs, medical testing, therapies, treatments and surgeries and more. (LIBRARY CARD REQUIRED.) A collection of tools and articles to help you stay healthy by learning about nutrition, diseases, health conditions, parenting and more.

Mayo Clinic: A website produced by one of the nation’s leading health care facilities with information about health conditions, diseases, medical procedures, treatment and research.

Medline Plus: the National Institutes of Health’s Web site produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. It provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness in language you can understand.

Merck Manual: Long considered the bible of health care, the Merck Manual has been an important resource for both health professionals and lay people since 1899. Topics range from symptoms to drug information, news, resources and general medical topics.

National Institute of Health: An essential website if you want to learn about the latest in nationally funded health research and news on health conditions, diseases, wellness and more.

Physicians’ Desk Reference: Yes, you can use the same resource that doctors have long relied on to find up-to-date information on drugs, treatments, dosage and side effects.

Teen Health & Wellness: Information for middle and high school students on a variety of topics such as drugs, alcohol, nutrition, mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, diseases, suicide and bullying. (LIBRARY CARD REQUIRED.)

You can use these resources at home on your computer or mobile device wherever you are whenever you need health information.

A PA Forward initiative promoting Health Literacy

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