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How does Reading Well help people?

Since the launch of the programme in 2013, over 2 million Reading Well titles have been borrowed from public libraries, with 98% of library authorities in England running at least one of the four Reading Well schemes: Reading Well for mental health, Reading Well for long term conditions, Reading Well for young people and Reading Well for dementia.

Read a selection of user and library case studies below or visit our dedicated case studies page to find out more about the impact of Reading Well.

User case studies

“The book was key in getting the correct diagnosis”

Andy Stewart, a Library Team Leader in Gloucestershire, first discovered Reading Well by chance while shelving books at work. He describes finding Overcoming Chronic Fatigue from the Reading Well for long term conditions booklist as “a real breakthrough moment” in understanding his symptoms and getting the correct diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome from his GP.

“Reading Well can help teenagers with their thoughts at a difficult time in their lives”

Gaby Clements is a student and activist with mental health charities Young Minds and Youth Access. She has been a passionate ambassador for the benefits of reading to improve mental health, including helping to curate the Reading Well for young people booklist.

Library case studies

“We knew from the beginning that we needed something different”

Kirklees library service has teamed up with schools and local arts organisations to create drama workshops that help young people work through difficult feelings and experiences using the Reading Well for young people booklist.

“Reading Well has given us the opportunity to link with health services in our city”

For Coventry library service, not only does Reading Well contribute to the health and wellbeing of library users, it has also opened doors to new local health and charity partnerships.

Reading Well complements older adults offer in North Somerset

North Somerset library service has skillfully woven Reading Well into existing health initiatives and partnerships, enhancing its offer for older people and increasing awareness of the scheme among key stakeholders.

“Reading Well booklists are approved by health professionals. We’re not health experts: we need that input”

Lewisham library service promotes Reading Well in local health settings and uses the scheme to complement health and wellbeing activities within the library, such as displaying the books at fortnightly health lectures to encourage further reading.

Social prescribing & Reading Well in Shropshire libraries

With social prescribing increasingly on the government’s health agenda, we bring you a Reading Well best practice example from the health and wellbeing team at Shropshire Libraries.

Get involved

  • Order promotional materials for all Reading Well schemes via our online shop

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