Reading Well library scheme proves popular in West Norfolk

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A new library scheme which offers health and wellbeing books to patients is proving to be a welcome addition in Lynn.

Reading Well for Long Term Conditions, which was launched last month across the county’s 47 libraries and eight mobile libraries, includes 28 recommended books that can be borrowed free for up to six-weeks.

The scheme is part of a national Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme, which recommends reading lists on specific topics relating to health and wellbeing.

King’s Lynn Library community librarian, Alison Thorne said: “We had 21 books taken out on the launch day back on July 4, and since then they have been permanently on display.

“When I look around the library, I can’t find many of the books which means people have taken them out and have them at home. This can only be good news because it shows that people are reading them and using them.”

With 28 books on the reading list, patients, carers and relatives can expand their knowledge on conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease, as well as common symptoms such as fatigue, pain, wellbeing and sleep problems.

The most borrowed book from the list so far is ‘How I rescued my brain: a psychologist’s remarkable recovery from stroke’ by David Roland.

Head of Norfolk County Council’s library and information service, Jan Holden said: “We have already had some great comments from library users who have found the new Reading Well books to be invaluable.

“One customer had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and didn’t want to ask her doctor lots of questions as they were busy and she didn’t want to feel silly.

“Our librarian showed her the books available, advised her to read through and write some questions down to discuss with her GP at a follow-up appointment.

“She left the library feeling more confident and armed with the information she needed to understand her condition.”