Libraries Week takes place between the 8th – 13th October and this year’s campaign is focused on the concept of wellbeing. Over the course of the week, libraries across the country will be showcasing the ways in which they bring communities together and support their users with their mental health.
So how can using the library affect your wellbeing?
– Research has shown that public library users are happier and have higher life satisfaction compared to non-users. Regularly using your local library is also associated with good general health: when valued medically, library engagement saves the NHS just under £30 million a year.
– When it comes to academic libraries (like ours), research into student library usage has indicated that there is a strong correlation between high library engagement and better degree results.
– Libraries are, of course, homes to extensive collections of books. While we can’t always guarantee that reading for study will be a stress-free experience, reading for pleasure has been linked to a reduction in stress and the symptoms of depression.
– Reading fiction is also associated with higher levels of empathy and improved relationships with others, with 76% of adults suggesting that reading improves their life.
By offering a safe space for reading/studying and facilitating access to fiction as well as specialised textbooks, academic libraries like St George’s have an important role to play in supporting the wellbeing of our users – whether they are studying or working within the university or the hospital.
For a taster of the types of wellbeing resources we have on offer, take a look at our Health and Wellbeing collection below. The selection covers topics such as managing stress, building resilience, and mindfulness to support you at work or while studying.
We also have a specially curated collection of Mood-Boosting Books recommended by the Reading Agency, which includes a range of novels, essays and poetry. You’ll find more of our fiction titles on the shelves under PN and PQ if you prefer to browse for yourself.
Click on either of the images below to browse these selections online, or use Hunter to for search for other available titles.
Over the course of Libraries Week, we’ll be taking the opportunity to dip into our Archives and explore the history of St George’s Library. We’ll offer you an insight into St George’s Library of old, and explore the ways in which we’ve supported our users over time.
Keep an eye out for a series of blog posts next week where we’ll look at St George’s: Then and Now. We’d love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to share them with us on social media:
Happy Libraries Week!
Inspired to explore other libraries? If you live in London, you’re spoilt for choice!
If you are local to Tooting, why not join your local library? See the Wandsworth Libraries website for a list of their locations.