About Us

Healthy Living and Learning Center History:

The Healthy Living and Learning Center (HLLC) is located in the Petersburg Public Library. It was developed with the conscious goal of increasing health literacy among community members to help improve health outcomes. According to a County Health Rankings Report localities surrounding the center experience some of the most unfavorable health outcomes in Virginia.

In 2012, Crater Health District (CHD), Petersburg Public Library (PPL), and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) – Massey Cancer Center partnered to create “a central location to obtain information about cancer [chronic disease] resources and screening services” per the request of its citizens. In partnership with the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, VCU conducted a cancer health needs assessment in the area. Through this assessment citizens and healthcare providers mentioned the need to, “…bridge the gap between health care offices and citizens [a need for improved communication and awareness of resources was emphasized].” After speaking with staff at the Crater Health District about the Community Health Education Center at VCU the concept of the Healthy Living and Learning Center was born.

The Healthy Living and Learning Center provides accurate and reliable health information (not health advice) to community members in a timely, effective, and efficient manner. The Center connects community members to existing health resources within the community through one-on-one sessions with Consumer Health Information Specialists and various other resources which include, but are not limited to, streaming video, websites, brochures, and reference books.

The overall goal of the Center is to empower individuals to take ownership over their health outcomes by providing them with knowledge and developing their health literacy skills. The services provided by the center have the potential to alleviate health problems associated with low health literacy among residents.


The Healthy Living and Learning Center housed at the Petersburg Public Library is available to provide a consistent, familiar place where community members can go to obtain accurate and reliable health information and connect to local health resources. The center is staffed with specially trained Health Educators and Librarians who provide quality health information directly to the public both at the Center and through community outreach. Visit the Center for these services:
•One-on-one sessions with certified Consumer Health Information Specialists (CHIS)
•Health related books and DVDS
•Connecting Community members with local resources (FREE health classes, seminars, screenings)
•Free Blood Pressure Checks
•Project STRAPPED Distribution Location (Free Condoms)
•Health Brochures/Flyers (English and Spanish)
•Wellness Activity Center programs and exercise classes (i.e. Yoga, Tai Chi, Sit and Be Fit)

or visit us during one of our local Mobile Utilization Outreach programs:
•Petersburg Department of Social Services
•Appomattox Health and Wellness
•City of Petersburg Parks and Leisure Services Senior Program at Tabernacle Baptist Church
•Hope Center – Food Bank