Now through December, public libraries in Berks County aim to shine a light on the importance of health literacy by building awareness through action. Visitors may stop by any of the 23 Berks County Public Libraries locations for information and activities related to health literacy.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines health literacy as “the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others.” Improving one’s health literacy understanding can include following the written dosage of prescription medication or knowing the safe minimum internal temperatures of various meat dishes.
As community pillars serving real-life needs, public libraries in Berks County strive to promote Health Literacy Month and provide the tools and resources for individuals to make informed decisions related to their health.
Health Literacy is one of five key foundations of information that make up the PA Forward® campaign, a statewide initiative under the Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) to strengthen public libraries, and through them, our communities.
According to PaLA, only 12% of adults have the health literacy skills needed to navigate the health care system, while nearly 80% of Internet users look for health information online. Individuals with limited health literacy are more likely to delay or forego medical care, which can create negative outcomes later in life.
For more information about health literacy and related library resources, please visit your local library or go online to www.berkslibraries.org/health-literacy.
The Berks County Public Library (BCPL) System is a department of the County of Berks, serving 428,849 county residents across 866 square miles and 72 municipalities since 1986. Through the support of the Berks County commissioners, BCPL staff aids in strengthening the Berks County community by providing centralized support for the 19 full-service member libraries and four branches. For more information, please visit www.berkslibraries.org.