Network of the National Library of Medicine
English Arabic Chinese (Simplified) French Hindi Japanese Korean Persian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Health Resources for Public Libraries

For questions, please contact 

Bobbi Newman
Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist

Subscribe to our monthly public libraries newsletter.

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Join the GMR Network (free!)


Guides to Finding Good Health Information Online

Print Resources

Online Resources

There are a variety of free evidence-based medicine resources and databases from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM), and other government organizations. This selection may be the most useful for public libraries.

General Resources

  • MedlinePlus 
    • For patients, families, and friends, Provides information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand, Free reliable, up-to-date health information
    • Household Products Database
      • Includes 11,000+ consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers
      • Enables scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients
    • HealthFinder
      • Easy-to-read, actionable, and evidence-based health information

    Drug Information

    • MedlinePlus Drugs, Herbs, and Supplements
      • Learn about your prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines. Includes side effects, dosage, special precautions, and more.
    • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine
      • Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
    • NLM Drug Information Portal
      • A gateway to selected drug information from NLM and other key U.S. Government agencies
      • Enables searches using a drug’s trade name or generic name
    • Pillbox
      • Enables rapid identification of unknown solid-dosage medications (tablets/capsules) based on physical characteristics and high-resolution images
      • Provides links to drug information and drug labels

    Mental Health and Substance Misuse

      • Provides one-stop access to U.S. government mental health and mental health problems information. aims to educate and guide: the general public, health and emergency preparedness professionals, policy makers, government and business leaders, school systems, and local communities
    • National Institute of Mental Health
      •  Lead federal agency for research on mental disorders.
    • National Institute on Drug Abuse
      • Our mission is to advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health.
    • NIDA for Teens
      • This website is a project of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This site is organized to help you find what you are looking for, whether you are a teen, middle or high school teacher, or parent.  The purpose of this site is to facilitate learning about the effects of drug use on the brain, body, and lives of teens.
    •  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
      • SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

    Multilingual and Multicultural Resources

    • EthnoMed
      • Harborview Medical Center's ethnic medicine website containing medical and cultural information about immigrant and refugee groups.
      • HealthReach
        • A national collaborative partnership that has created a resource of quality multilingual, multicultural public health information for those working with or providing care to individuals with limited English proficiency
      • NIH Spanish Health Information Portal
      • NLM Multi-Cultural Resources for health Information
        • The Outreach and Special Populations Branch (OSPB) works to improve access to accurate, quality health information by underserved and special populations.

      Specific Populations

      • American Indian and Alaska Native Health
        • A central source for information about the health and well-being of Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
      • Center for Young Women’s Health
        • A collaboration between the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and the Division of Gynecology at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Center is an educational entity that exists to provide teen girls and young women with carefully researched health information, health education programs, and conferences
        • Offers girls reliable, useful information on health and well-being. Covers hundreds of topics, from getting your period to stopping bullies, and from getting fit to preventing sexually transmitted infections. Pages clear and fun, and we make sure to answer key questions girls ask. is committed to empowering girls to create strong, positive relationships and happy, healthy futures.
      • Health and Aging
        • Provides reliable, easy to understand health information. Includes background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes and frequently asked questions (FAQs)
        • If you're looking for information you can trust about kids and teens that's free of "doctor speak," you've come to the right place. KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years.
        • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its member pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP has approximately 66,000 members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries. Members include pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists. More than 45,000 members are board-certified and called Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP)
      • National Institute on Aging- health information
        • NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research.
        • The Office on Women's Health (OWH) was established in 1991 within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). OWH coordinates women's health efforts across HHS and addresses critical women's health issues by informing and advancing policies, educating health care professionals and consumers, and supporting model programs.
      • Young Men’s Health
        • Produced by the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. The purpose of the website is to provide carefully researched health information to teenage boys and young men.

      Specific Health Conditions

      • AIDSinfo
        • AIDSinfo offers access to the latest, federally approved HIV/AIDS medical practice guidelines, HIV treatment and prevention clinical trials, and other research information for health care providers, researchers, people affected by HIV/AIDS, and the general public.
        • Genetics Home Reference
          • NLM's consumer-friendly site for information about genetic conditions, the genes or chromosomes associated with those conditions
          • Includes the effects of genetic variations on human health
        • National Cancer Institute
          • The central website for the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the U.S. government’s principal agency for cancer research.