Tag Archives: health

Stuart Glover, Library Services Manager, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Stuart Glover, Library Services Manager, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Stuart Glover, Library Services Manager, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Hello everyone, I’m Stuart Glover. I’m a chartered librarian who has worked in public, academic and NHS Libraries as a Library Assistant and Librarian since my Uncle got me my first casual library job back in 1995.

I completed an MA in Information & Library Studies at Loughborough University in 2002 and having spent a few years with my friends in the NHS library service in Northamptonshire (@NHFTNHSLibrary) I made the move to be a Deputy Librarian at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust where I am now the Library Services Manager.

As well as being a CILIP member, I was one of the two main organizers for the large Health Libraries Group conference in 2010 and 2012. I am also an Evangelical Christian (and member of the Librarians’ Christian Fellowship) and currently a very happy fan of Wigan Athletic Football Club!

I hope to be able to give a flavour of the diversity of work in an NHS Library and hope to be able to demonstrate the very real impact that we have in the lives of the local population and the NHS staff that treat them.

The picture here is me…but I very rarely wear a tie let alone a suit!

Please feel free to get in touch and ask me any questions.

I can be contacted at:
Twitter: @stuartglover
LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/pub/stuart-glover/24/b57/5a3

But this week, I am @voiceslibrary

Guest post: Read yourself better

Today’s guest blog post comes from Abigail Luthmann, Equal Access Manager, East Sussex Library and Information Service.

Public libraries are often the first port of call after the doctor’s surgery for many people. You can find books on a wide range of medical, health and lifestyle issues from a definition of that strange sounding word the doctor just mentioned, to guides to living with all kinds of diseases, to diet and fitness books. Trained library staff will answer your enquiries, using reliable websites like NHS Choices and referring on to the local NHS hospital library if more specialist information is required.

You can also find information about local support groups and organisations that may be of interest, or the nearest exercise or weight loss class. Many libraries are located near to doctor’s surgeries, and may share a building. Some have taken the next step and have health specialists operating surgeries within libraries, for example Manchester Libraries host Macmillan Cancer Support staff and information so that library visitors can talk in private to a cancer support specialist and pick up a range of information leaflets. This project was a finalist in the CILIP Libraries Change Lives award this year, find out more and watch their video entry here.

Books on Prescription is a scheme offered by the majority of library authorities, where a doctor or other health practitioner prescribes a book to their patient or service user, usually on a mental health topic. This prescription is then taken to their local library where they can pick up the title, all free of charge. A book can often be prescribed instead a pharmaceutical prescription, and the patient is encouraged to take control of their own condition by finding out more and learning about coping strategies. Follow up support is often provided by the GP or mental health team in order to discuss the book with the patient/service user.

Reading aloud is another method used by libraries to benefit those with mental health problems (1 in 4 of us) and other vulnerable groups. Championed by the Liverpool based project, Get Into Reading, this is a simple but effective way to bring people together – groups can read whatever they like: poetry, short stories, novels or plays. There is no pressure on participants to read aloud themselves or take part in discussions, however over time many join in more and more – talking about how what they have read reflects on their own experiences. The space created within the group offers a safe and friendly environment to chat, open up and enjoy the relaxing experience of being read to.
The Get Into Reading model operates in many areas across the UK and internationally, and many other public libraries operate their own versions, for example in Kirklees.

Find out more about Get Into Reading and their accredited training programme for group facilitators.

Guest bloggers are not affiliated with VftL, and all views and opinions are their own.

Surrey’s Reminiscence Collection

Reminscence therapy is commonly used by health professionals to support and stimulate the mental well-being of the elderly, people suffering from dementia, patients with brain-injuries and those suffering from depression or social isolation. It achieves this by recalling memories and events from the persons life.

Surrey Library Service provides a ‘Reminiscence Collection’, for use by Reminiscence Professionals in the field of elderly care and those who care for elderly people at home. The collection, held at Redhill Library, consists of a wide range of materials for use in reminiscence therapy. It includes music, DVDs, flashcards, posters, toys and books (text books, activity books and themed books for browsing). The collection aims to stimulate memories of life from the 1920s to 2000. A catalogue of materials available in the reminiscence collection is provided by Surrey Library Service. It’s a free service for registered users and is available for use by reminiscence professionals/carers. Up to 12 items can be borrowed for a period of six weeks.

Feel better with a book

‘Feel Better With A Book’ is a bibliotherapy project, which involves reading aloud within a group.

The aim of ‘Feel Better With A Book‘ (pdf link) in South West Essex, which has been running since mid 2009, is to help improve the wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem of mental health patients and other vulnerable people through the development of reading activities in groups.

Adrian Faiers, who is leading the project for NHS South West Essex, says: “Get Into Reading has become a national flagship for therapeutic read aloud groups and we are delighted to bring a similar programme to South West Essex.

“Feel Better With A Book has already had a considerable impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing. It helps those with mental health issues, those who are vulnerable and those who feel isolated to build social networks and feel more a part of the community.

“The programme works because it offers continuity and inclusivity, it is safe and is mutually supportive.”

Adrian Ure, who is leading the project for Essex Libraries, says: “We have had excellent feedback from people who have taken part in the Feel Better With A Book programme.

“One service user has told us ‘It has opened my mind, and being in a reading group has encouraged me and others in the group to talk about the different styles of literature and be and feel part of a whole’. Another said ‘the tea break helps us all to reflect on the discussion of the story or poem we have all read together and we all enjoy each other’s company.”

Funded by NHS South West Essex, Essex Libraries set up Feel Better With A Book groups, building on the model established by The Reader Organisation. The project is run in partnership with Mind, Rethink, as well as community mental health teams.

Five groups have been set up in South West Essex since June 2009, at Pitsea Library, Wickford Library, Brentwood Library, Fryerns Library and Laindon Library. The Fryerns group aims to support the wellbeing of older people and is built on previously held community tea parties for members.

Lasting a maximum of two hours, the groups meet weekly. Stories and poems are read aloud by a trained facilitator, with members joining in as they wish. As time goes on, members spontaneously share their thoughts, experiences and life stories. There is a wide range of books included and, in addition, self-help books are offered by libraries under a separate bibliotherapy scheme known as Get Your Life Back, also funded by NHS South West Essex.

The groups initially meet in mental health day centres, with the aim of transferring to the local library at the appropriate time, to encourage the integration of mental health service users into the community.

Once the groups are established in the local library, they are opened to new members from the local community, subject to a total of 10 participants in any group.

The success of the programme is being continually evaluated to show the health and social care benefits and the impact of read aloud groups on the wellbeing of those with mental health issues and of other vulnerable people.

What readers have said:

“It’s great being in this group. Everyone chips in their ideas. Half of them would never have occurred to me if I was reading on my own!”

“The knowledge that you don’t have to do anything is very important, but then trust begins to build and you’re able to share personal feelings with the group, so that they end up knowing more about you than friends you’ve known for years. You can say what you want and you know they’ll understand.”