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NNLM Reading Club: Family Health History

Family Health History

Knowing your family’s health history paints a picture of potential health problems from one generation to the next. This knowledge is a powerful tool for early detection or prevention of diseases you may be at risk for. Learn how to find and share your family health history on National Family Health History Day, which is Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year. Watch this video from The Human Genetics Society to learn more.


MedlinePlus is NLM's a trustworthy and consumer-friendly online resource. Use it to find evidence-based information on Family Health both in English and Spanish from a variety of resources.

There's a NIH for that... and more

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is NIH's biomedical research agency for advancing genomics research. Find an Introduction to Genomics as well as guidance on Direct-to-Consumer Genomic Testing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has Family Health History information in English and Spanish. My Family Health Portrait is a confidential online tool to gather your family health information and create a family health tree that can be downloaded and printed. Share your family health history with family members an discuss with your health practitioner.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), America's consumer protection agency, provides clear and basic information to understand Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests.

Library Programming

National DNA Day

National DNA Day is annually recognized on April 25th to commemorate the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953. Celebrate the unique day.


Young Readers

Encourage young and old to learn the science behind heredity.

Book cover image of DNA is You!


Partner with a local museum to host Genome: Unlocking Life's Code. The traveling exhibit is a collaboration between the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the NHI National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). To learn more about hosting the exhibit, visit their scheduling website, and contact your NNLM All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator to discuss funding support.

Libraries Transform

Poster image of Because Libraries can keep your family healthy.

The Libraries Transform Health Literacy Toolkit can help you share trustworthy information so people can make informed decisions about their health. Join the Libraries Transform Campaign to access all the print and digital graphics. Key Message(s): Good health literacy helps parents better manage and respond to their child’s health, which in turn can position them for better learning and avoid missing school. Healthy children are more alert and aware. Promotional Use(s)/Activity Suggestions: If your library conducts a storytime around health and wellness topics, this Because statement can help promote including Family Place Libraries programs and other activities that focus on early childhood development.


A guide to family health history booklet cover

Engage a local health professional such as a genetic counselor to give a community talk about direct-to-consumer testing or the importance of knowing one's family health history. To find a speaker, use the National Society of Genetic Counselors. Share copies of A Guide to Family Health History available to download for free in English or Spanish, or share copies of What You Need to Know About Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing, also available for free download.