COVID-19 cell
For the most reliable and up-to-date information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19),
please visit these sites:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

Massachusetts Department of Public Health (

World Health Organization (

Guide to Mental Health Resources for COVID-19 from Massachusetts General Hospital (General Mental Health & Coping, Specific Mental Health Conditions, For Families & Children, For Healthcare Providers, For Military Families and Veterans, Mindfulness & Other Tools, For Mass General Brigham Employees, Mental Health Resources for BIPOC)

Health Literacy at the Library

Health and Wellness

October is Health Literacy Month! What does it mean for you? It means that we encourage you to seek reliable sources for health information, not snake oil salesmen!
First stop: National Library of Medicine!

October is also the month we’ve started our series “Everyone Welcome At the Table,” funded by the IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) and the MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners).

Your health literacy is important to us.

What is Health Literacy?
The Institute of Medicine defines Health Literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.”

Health Literacy infographicWhy Is It So Important to Be Health Literate?

Health literacy is essential for successful access to care and use of services, self-care of chronic conditions, and maintenance of health and wellness. Health literacy is fundamental to healthcare that requires individuals to have a more active role in decisions and management.

How Can You Improve Your Health Literacy?

1. Ask questions. …

2. Repeat information back to your doctor or nurse. …
3. Bring all of your medicines to your next doctor’s visit. …
4. Have another adult with you. …
5. Let the doctor’s office know you need an interpreter if you don’t speak or understand English very well. …

Ask Me 3: Good Questions for Your Good Health


Ask Me 3® is an educational program that encourages patients and families to ask three specific questions of their providers to better understand their health conditions and what they need to do to stay healthy.

  1. What is my main problem?
  2. What do I need to do?
  3. Why is it important for me to do this?

Designed by health literacy experts, Ask Me 3 is intended to help patients become more active members of their health care team, and provide a critical platform to improve communications between patients, families, and health care professionals.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement / National Patient Safety Foundation
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Ask Me 3 is a registered trademark licensed to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Learn About Health and Nutrition with Universal Class

Free, Self-Paced, Online Courses with Your Bigelow Free Public Library Card!

Program Features:
– Professional instructors
– Lessons, exams, assignments, and discussion boards
– Grading and feedback to track your learning progress
– Over 100 video audit courses available

Over 600 CEU Level Courses Covering 30 Subject Areas Including:

Nutrition 101
Improve your health and your life through nutrition and exercise. Create nutrition and health goals to motivate you to become a healthier you. Make meaningful, lasting changes to your diet that actually last. Topics of discussion include:

  • the importance of incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet
  • the difference between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates
  • the importance of fiber and protein in your diet
  • the difference between “LDL” and “HDL” cholesterol
  • the health benefits of calcium and vitamins
  • the health hazards of being underweight or overweight and ways to change your weight
  • the benefits of exercise and ways to encourage motivation
  • tips on stress reduction
  • the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance
  • and much more!

Incorporate healthy nutrition and exercise habits in your routine so that you can be healthier, have more energy, and feel great!

More health & nutrition courses include:
Nutrition 201: A Closer Look
Weight Loss Management
Weight Training 101
Childhood Obesity
Diabetes 101
Health Education 101
Cooking and Baking 101

Lifetime Wellness 101
Health is defined as an optimal state of physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well being. The same explanation applies to wellness. It’s like that old saying “You don’t have anything if you don’t have your health.”

This Lifetime Wellness course will give you a blueprint to help you feel alive, vital, confident and experience a state of well-being. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • how to tune in to the messages your body is sending you
  • to take charge of your body composition
  • ways to nourish your body with fitness
  • about weight and diet
  • the importance of exercise to maintain good health
  • new ways to define yourself, not only by past accomplishments, but by the possibilities you create for the future
  • the tools to create a lifetime of fulfillment at any age

Get the jump on nutrition by making good choices. New is only new for a day but personal growth never quits.

More health & wellness courses include:
Stress Management
Relaxation 101
Meditation 101: Learn How to Meditate
Yoga 101
Anti Aging Techniques
The Art of Breathing
Healing Affirmations
Emotional Healing 101
Anxiety Therapy 101
Depression Management
Drug and Alcohol Abuse 101
Anger Management 101
How to Quit Smoking
Pursuing Happiness: Successful Strategies
Building Self-Esteem
Building Self-Esteem in Children

Browse the UniversalClass Course Catalog and learn something new today!!

MedlinePlus: Trusted Health Information for You

Trusted Medical Info from MedlinePlus –An online health information resource for patients and their families and friends. MedlinePlus is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

*Visit our Health Resources page for helpful information for your health and wellness.