Our Good Health: Libraries & Local Health Services, Successful Partnership Working in Support of Health and Wellbeing

Anne Hayward, ISG L&SE

On Wednesday 21st October, the CILIP Information Services Group (London & South East Section) hosted ‘Our Good Health: Libraries & Local Health Services, Successful Partnership Working in Support of Health and Wellbeing’ at CILIP headquarters in London.

A range of information professionals attended from public, NHS and academic libraries, and some charities and not for profit organisations, wanting to find out what other libraries and organisations are doing to support the health agenda and get ideas to develop within their own organizations.

Feedback shows attendees were not disappointed. A good variety of speakers shared their experiences of setting up, running and embedding projects, and the lessons learnt from working with other agencies and libraries. Details of all presentations can be found on ISG L&SE webpage http://www.cilip.org.uk/information-services-group/regional-groups/london-south-east/events/recent-events/our-good-health-21-october-2015.

Jenny Peachey from the Carnegie UK Trust started the day well by looking at the impact public libraries make on the health and wellbeing agenda. Debbie Hicks from The Reading Agency then looked at the importance of reading for supporting health. Several speakers were able to talk about their experiences of public library projects in partnership with other organizations – Tricia Fincher and the development of wellbeing zones in Kent Libraries; Kate Gielgud, Chris Lloyd and Anna Waterman and their work to promote health in the Tri-borough; Patricia Garrett and the development of the Macmillan cancer information and support centres in Portsmouth; Beverley Palmer and work to support dementia in the East Riding of Yorkshire; Julie Walker and bibliotherapy in Kirklees. Julie’s DVD powerfully demonstrated the importance of bibliotherapy. I was pleased that we also had speakers from other sectors. Rachel Cooke and Holly Case from Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust talked about their experiences of NHS and public libraries working together. Sue Thomas from the Health Promotion Library in Wales and Anthony Skates from South East Wales Regional Partnership talked about their work in Wales.

Attendees appreciated being able to network for sharing experiences and building contacts for potential partnership working. Participants were obviously keen to talk about their own experiences in the discussion at the end of the day. I wish there had been more time for more discussion sessions or break out sessions, so that more people could share their experiences of projects that are working well in other libraries and organisations, and help break up a very busy day of inspiring presentations.

Thank you to all the speakers for their informative and engaging presentations, and to my ISG colleagues for helping the day run so smoothly.

Refer 31 (3) Autumn 2015

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