How cool is this?

A list of self-help books endorsed by health professionals and curated by Public Libraries – how useful could this be?

From the about section of the website:

Books on Prescription was first developed in Cardiff, Wales by Professor Neil Frude, a Clinical Psychologist.

A national scheme for England, Reading Well Books on Prescription, was launched in England in 2013 and is delivered by the Reading Agency. Our model is significantly based on the research and experience of this initiative modified for the Australian environment and we thank the Reading Agency for their support and assistance.

The NSW Books on Prescription project has been developed by NSW Public Libraries Association, Central West Zone in partnership with the University of Newcastle – Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health.

The initiative has been funded by a grant from the Library Council of New South Wales and is being administered by Central West Libraries on behalf of the Central West Zone. It is an Australian pilot.

In partnership with the Public Library Network, GPs and other health professionals prescribe books from a list of high quality, self help manuals selected by experienced mental health practitioners. The prescribed books will be available for loan from the 14 public library services (41 service points) across the region.

These books are also available for anyone to borrow from their local public library.

The aim of the project is to provide resources which deliver reliable information regarding mental illness, promote wellbeing and good mental health and help to build resilience.

Evaluation of the pilot will provide the opportunity to consider bibliotherapy as a state and potentially national health promotion strategy.

There are 7 booklist headings:



Eating Disorders

Generalised panic disorder and agoraphobia

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Sleeping Problems


or a one page recommended reading list

Hopefully the booklists will be added to and updated regularly as some of the lists are only 1 book long and I think the longest is 3 or 4 books.

Some of the libraries involved in the project have launches ‘books on prescription’ collections.

I know at work we sometimes get people coming to the info desk and asking for a particular book or books because their doctor suggested they read it so properly curated lists such as these would surely be very popular.

I wonder if any public libraries in Melbourne are doing something along these lines?

See Fiona wander off to find out…