CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Co-creating Libraries for Wellbeing

This case study is part of Health Librarians Add Value, a campaign run jointly by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and CILIPS. It has been provided by Julie Wands, Library Manager (North). Read other case studies here.

Outline of project

The value of public libraries in promoting health and wellbeing has long been recognised. This project aims to bring together a variety of stakeholders to develop a framework for improving community health & wellbeing by utilising public libraries. One of the three demonstrator sites in Scotland has taken place in North Ayrshire where North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership leads, NHS Ayrshire & Arran clinicians, North Ayrshire Council public libraries and NHS library services have collaborated with local communities to demonstrate the value of public libraries for health and wellbeing. Early on, it was agreed that the project should build on work already ongoing to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the area. Kilwinning Academy had developed a peer support network to improve mental health in its pupils. The young people involved in this network were invited to help to brainstorm ways in which this initiative could be extended to Kilwinning public library. This involved meeting with the project group and taking part in a well-attended fun day at the library. A redesign of the library physical space was proposed to accommodate their proposals. Further work on the project is currently on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions. Although the majority of the work of this project has been carried out by North Ayrshire Council libraries along with the stakeholders, the local NHS librarian contributed evidence on existing partnerships for background reading. In addition, health and wellbeing pathways for children and adults utilising North Ayrshire Council libraries have been developed using Clinical Knowledge Publisher software.


According to the stakeholders, ‘it was invaluable to have the skills and knowledge of our NHS Librarian colleague to help us evidence partnerships and to develop the pathways.’

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