My Library Keeps Me Healthy Initiative: Free Classes Underway

This was originally published several months ago, so it may be out of date.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Contact: Kanya Lyons, 512-974-7379

My Library Keeps Me Healthy Initiative: Free Classes Underway

The Austin Public Library is helping to create a healthy Austin by supporting individuals in identifying health insurance resources, locating and evaluating free health information online, understanding specific health or wellness topics and offer classes that support well-being and good health.

Libraries are in a unique position to bring together the people, programs, and partners necessary to make health information and services available to everyone. The Pew Research Center in a 2015 study reported that 42% of those who have gone online at a library using its computers, internet connections or Wi-Fi have done so for health-related searches.

Many people view public libraries as important resources for finding health information and some conduct such searches using libraries’ online access resources. In the Pew analysis 73% of all those ages 16 and over say libraries contribute to people finding the health information they need.

Working with local partners the Austin Public Library is championing greater awareness of health information resources that are reliable and available free of charge. Watch for the free health screenings taking place in some of Austin’s libraries. Healthy Body classes are available in some locations. View upcoming health screenings and health programs.

Use the Library’s Health Portal to identify a free health class or screening near you. The Health Portal will also lead you to the online Library Health Information Guide. Librarians have assembled content on nearly every health topic you can imagine in the guide and links take you directly to authoritative resources.

Some health classes such as the as the Diabetes Empowerment Education Programs require advance registration. Public Health Educator Joanna Saucedo can be contacted at 512-974-7517 to register for classes and provide information about the Library’s health resources. Use the Ask a Librarian Service to find even more information.

This health literacy project is provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through a grant to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2016).