reading matters, so let's make public library reader services awesome!
Prescriptive Bibliotherapy requires strong partnerships with medical professionals to recommend authoritative resources for use as ‘reading prescriptions’ supplied by the library service. (Jennie Bolitho, 2009)
Books on Prescription schemes are run in partnership with librarians and health professionals, who recommend a book to a patient, and provide the patient with the title details as a ‘book prescription’. The patient then takes that book prescription to a library to have the prescription filled by borrowing the recommended book. (Susan McLaine, 2012).
Earlier this year I talked online with a group of forward-thinking New Zealand librarians about their prescriptive bibliotherapy services. The group included Anne Dickson from Auckland Libraries, Sarah Gallagher from University of Otago Medical Library, Sally Pewhairangi of Finding Heroes, and Cath Sheard from South Taranaki libraries. I’ve talked recently with a Queensland librarian who hopes to set up this service to support her community’s access to health information, and I look forward to that program’s success.
Prescriptive bibliotherapy is a strong connection-based community service with economic and health benefits for the community in which it operates, and it holds a strong place in the future of libraries.
Auckland Libraries Health Information
‘Health Information Prescription is a community project brought to you by the following organisations to improve the health of our families and communities.’
‘Southern PHO and participating public libraries in the Otago, Central, Waitaki and Southland areas have joined together to offer the Books on Prescription programme. The scheme involves a GP or other health professional, prescribing a book that addresses a particular problem which is available from your local library. Select from a list of high quality self-help books that have been specially selected by experienced mental health practitioners.’
More on how the scheme works here
‘Turn the Page links people who have mild to moderate mental health issues to a set of self-help books recommended by psychologists and counsellors. GPs ‘prescribe’ books to their patients, which can then be borrowed from any LibraryPlus.’
More prescriptive bibliotherapy programs
Reading Well Books on Prescription provides self-help reading for adults based on cognitive behavioural therapy for a range of common mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, phobias and some eating disorders. Books can be recommended by GPs or other health professionals from the Reading Well Books on Prescription core booklist. They are available from the public library where they can be borrowed free of charge. The books have been recommended by experts. They have been tried and tested and found to be useful by others.
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