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PlaneTree Health Library Programs: Online Programs

program sign-up

Fact-checking sources

Current Programs

These programs are offered online using Zoom. (You will need to have the free Zoom app already loaded on your computer, tablet, or phone before the program starts.)

Once you sign up using our online registration, you will get an email with directions and the link to join.

No programs currently offered at this time - check back soon for future programming.




About PlaneTree Health Library

Who we are:

PlaneTree Health Library's mission is to guide the public to free, trustworthy, and accurate health and medical information. Based in Silicon Valley, it is an independent, nonprofit, online patient and consumer health library Information and programs are offered to the public free of charge.

We believe that when informed, people can make better choices about their health, can better advocate for themselves and their loved ones, and can more easily partner with their health care providers for better outcomes. Expert librarians select and provide links on our websites to the most trustworthy and accurate medical information that is freely available. In our programs we provide context for that information, and teach how to spot fake news and identify bias so that people can be more educated consumers of health information.

PlaneTree Health Library has served Santa Clara County continually since 1989. (For more of the organization's history and our projects, see here.)

Register for Our Programs

Online registration is required for our public events. You will receive links and other details by email after you sign up. 
We keep your registration confidential. We will not share email addresses or other personal information with a third party. (With one exception - we may share names and email addresses with partner organizations if that specific program is co-sponsored or offered jointly.)
Handouts and other materials may be available after the program to those who register in advance.

Past Programs

If a group or organization is interested in an updated version of a prior program, contact us.

Evaluating health information - advice for caregivers.

Family caregivers often turn to searching online for the information they need to care for loved ones. But how to tell what's worth looking at, and what to take seriously? 

This program, geared towards people who are helping to care of loved ones, identifies trustworthy go-to sources for quick and efficient searching; describes librarians' techniques for detecting bias, spin in reporting, and scam warning signs; and offers tips on how to evaluate medical research reports. 

Trust it or trash it? Evaluating health information

Deciding whether to believe the latest hot news about health matters isn't easy for professionals - much less figuring out how to help clients who are worried by rumors and confused by conflicting claims. Medical librarians wrestle all the time with the problems of finding trust-worthy and accurate sources for consumer health information, and with fact-checking and evaluating reports of medical research.

This program shares the basic techniques in librarians' toolboxes for deciding whether to trust health claims or trash them -- even if you're not already an expert on that subject. Resources include information on mental health as well as chronic diseases; this program would be useful to healthcare and social work professionals.

Sleep, Immunity, & COVID-19. 

Research has shown that chronically insufficient sleep greatly increases the chances of getting infected by coronaviruses, if exposed. Unfortunately, long-term sleep deprivation before the pandemic was not uncommon. This version of our Oh, for a good night's sleep! program has been updated with new information from research on SARS-CoV-2. Learn about recent findings on how much sleep we need (and what kind of sleep), on how disordered sleep can effect many different systems in our body, and what can be done (and what not to do) about problematic sleep habits. Format is a Zoom presentation followed by Q&A and group discussion.

Oh, for a good night's sleep! 

Sleep research has discovered that our patterns of sleeping are connected to other aspects of our health in some surprising ways. Learn about recent findings on how much sleep we need (and what kind of sleep), on how disordered sleep can effect many different systems in our body - and what can be done about problematic sleep habits (and what not to do). Format is a Zoom presentation followed by Q&A and group discussion.


Coping with anxiety & depression during the pandemic

These are difficult times. In various polls of people in the U.S. over half of all adults said they were more worried, anxious, distracted, or uncertain than before the pandemic hit, and many of the things we used to do to help ourselves stay balanced are not available right now. 

Learn about what we can do to cope, these days, and hear about some perhaps surprising ways to support resilience and mood, gathered from expert advice. This program includes how to find social services, hotlines and warmlines, crisis and longer-term assistance when needed. Bring your questions, share your own coping tips, and let's talk about how to all make it through this emergency together.


Tips and tools to help care for older family.

Caring for an older family member is hard work, whether we're in the same home or caring at a distance - so let's use all the tools we can get! This program is an overview of widely available, relatively simple, low-cost technological tools and online resources to make that job easier. Format is a Zoom presentation followed by Q&A and group discussion.


People who are well-informed about their health have much better health outcomes. But information, just by itself, is not sufficient. The health and medical information accessed through the links in our online library and presented in our programs is not intended to substitute for the advice or instruction of a health care professional. As librarians, we are not qualified to express opinions about medical care, only to offer information. Be sure to discuss information found through these sources with your health care providers.

The text on this page is copyright PlaneTree Health Library, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-SA. Linked contents are the responsibility of their creators / copyright holders.