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Access the tools, program ideas and primers you need to stay up-to- date on health literacy topics.

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Program Ideas

The Guilty Librarian: Grappling with Job-Related Guilt

Illustration of woman touching her temples and closing her eyes

I have been trying to write this blog post for weeks. The more time that goes by, the more guilt I feel. The powers that be at ALA are going to lose their patience with me, I tell myself. One post a month is not that huge of a commitment — just send it already! I frequently feel this crushing sense of guilt about a lot of things, particularly this year, and I don’t think I’m alone.

Pedaling Through History: Pedal PV at Palos Verdes Library

a view of the seaside in Palos Verdes

For the past four years, Monique Sugimoto has commuted to her job at the Palos Verdes Library District on an electric bike — a scenic ride along the cliffs in her coastal California town. As she rode, her librarian brain was hard at work.

“When I came across historic locations, I would devise these little tours in my head,” Sugimoto says. “When the pandemic struck, I thought, how great would it be if I could bring these tours out of my head and into people’s homes?” And that is exactly what she did.

Silly Sidewalk Obstacle Course

Kids jumping through the sidewalk obstacle course.

The goal of the Silly Sidewalk Obstacle Course is to provide a sense of liberation and fun while emphasizing the importance of wellness during these unprecedented COVID-19 times.

Upon completion of the course, patrons can enter the library and salute the librarians to be entered in a raffle for a silly prize. Our obstacle course has proven to be popular among all age groups in the community.

Virtual Tales & Travel Adventures

Tales and Travel Logo

Tales & Travel Adventures is an online adaptation of the original Tales & Travel Memories program, which was designed to actively engage persons living with dementia in literacy activities. This is an ongoing series of excursions to US and global destinations, currently including Chicago, Italy and California.

Retro Aerobics Online

Retro Aerobics Online is a low-impact exercise program for adults that follows a different vintage workout routine each month, such as Richard Simmons’s “Sweatin’ to the Oldies.”

This was originally an in-person program that moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fit Lit Book Discussion

Photo of someone walking up stairs; zoomed in on sneakers.

The Fit Lit Book Discussion group is a virtual book group where we discuss a book, listen to a health expert and encourage each other in healthy habits and physical activity.

It includes a monthly Zoom meeting and a Facebook group for encouragement and resource-sharing. The first five people to register for and attend each session will receive a free copy of the book for next month.

Cooking Matters® Pop-up Grocery Store Tour: Online!

Photograph of vegetables in a grocery store.

Ellsworth Public Library and the local community health nonprofit Healthy Acadia partnered to present an online grocery store tour to share helpful tips about shopping healthy on a budget.

Nicole Gurerri, a Maine SNAP-Ed nutrition educator from Healthy Acadia, took participants on a virtual tour through a PowerPoint presentation, covering each food group and including tips for how to choose healthy options while saving money.

Veggie Teens: Earth-Friendly Cooking Programs

A cutting board with chopped vegetables and an iPad

The past few years have seen the rise of powerful and inspiring young activists rallying for systemic change and legislative action to address the climate crisis, with groups like the Sunrise Movement advocating for a Green New Deal and the now-famous climate striker Greta Thunberg named Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year.

Multi-Sectoral Coalitions for Health: Bringing Public Libraries to the Table

Photo of a young boy playing outside.

In normal times and during a health crisis, coalitions of community organizations can accomplish much more than individual organizations ever could alone. Libraries, with their strategic position in the community, can be on the front lines of those efforts.

Ready-to-Go Story Times for Earth Day 2020

A screenshot from a recorded story time of "A Stone Sat Still"

The coronavirus pandemic has been a source of fear and anxiety for many of us, including children. But we can also treat the experience of living through the pandemic as an opportunity to talk to children and their families about resilience and collective action. Earth Day 2020 is the perfect occasion, and you need to go no further than your library’s YouTube or Facebook page.

General Info

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PLA Resources on COVID-19

The PLA Board of Directors and staff are committed to providing information on the rapidly-evolving situation with COVID-19 to PLA members. We have compiled some infor...

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Insurance Outreach Hub

This Google Drive folder contains social media graphics, one pagers, fact sheets, videos and other materials you can use in your outreach to consumers for the open enr...

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Libraries Connecting You to Coverage

As part of its ongoing work to support the public library’s role in creating healthy communities, the Public Library Association (PLA) is offering resources for librar...

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Health Literacy Bookmark File

Let community members know the important role your library plays in health and wellness!

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Health Literacy Poster

Whether helping people find health information online, or holding yoga classes, your library is a critical element of building a healthy community. Tell library users ...

Glossaries