Collaboration with public libraries

Most public libraries are very keen to improve their own health information provision and share resources and experience with other sectors.

If you have difficulty finding a relevant contact in your local area, please contact  contactus@libraryservices.nhs.uk  

Ideas
  1. Librarian exchange / job shadowing / visits 
    • Being aware of content and scope of each other’s library stock and enquiries received will inform the direction of collaboration potential.
    • Public libraries could suggest resources for health libraries to stock.
    • Support public library health information events. 
  1. Joint training with public library staff
    • Discuss sharing of training resources e.g. handling enquiries from the public and signposting to appropriate information.
    • Offer tutorials on health information searching. 
  1. Arrange a procedure for referral of complex queries 
    • Make local public libraries aware of content of your stock and services available.
    • Devise a plan for when they get a complex health enquiry. (ask other libraries to share theirs) 
    • Make your library open to individual referrals from other sector libraries – others will tell you that this does not result in floods of referrals! 
  1. Stock books on the Reading Well Scheme (Used to be called Books on Prescription) 
    • Stock the same Read Well books as your local public library.
    • Promote these to staff for themselves or patients.
    • Incorporate Read Well books as part of the Trust’s wider health and wellbeing agenda.
    • Members of hospital staff who are referred to Occupational Health are given a prescription for a specific resource which they can borrow from the hospital’s library.
    • Make the collection is also available for general borrowing.