The annual library campaign for Welsh libraries will be launched on 10th October 2012 with the title “Get reading, get better, get libraries”.* Loosely abbreviated to ‘Get Libraries’, this campaign is focusing particularly on the contribution libraries make to people’s health and wellbeing.
Get Libraries is promoting all the benefits that can come from using libraries, such as borrowing mood-boosting books, using the Books Prescription Wales bibliotherapy scheme, accessing health information such as healthy eating, fitness or medical issues, as well as the social wellbeing benefits of taking part in activities such as reading groups or lifelong learning classes in the library.
For academic libraries with new students away from home for the first time, information such as healthy eating, safe drinking and coping with stress, could all be included in effective study collections or as part of resources you may have.
So, what’s going on during the campaign? Well, it’s being launched on World Mental Health Awareness Day, in Pyle library in Bridgend with international rugby referee Nigel Owens. Other key regional events are: Merthyr library, 18th October, evening comedy club for teens with comedian Chris Corcoran; Coleg Powys and Newtown public library events on 25th November, with Chris Corcoran and, laughter yoga with Carol Young; and Tae Kwon Do Olympian Jade Jones and weatherman Derek Brockway will be at an event in Rhyl library on 2nd November.
Locally there are hundreds of events taking place in libraries across Wales throughout October and into November – to find out what’s on at your local library check out the events database on the Get Libraries campaign pages of librarywales.org. Some of the events currently listed include creative writing focusing on mental health, mindfulness meditation sessions, and drop-in health checks. (NB the events database is currently having teething trouble and may not be returning all results.)
Library staff in Wales can enter their events in the staff toolkit, and can download all the relevant logos, posters, flyers, web banners etc in different formats from the staff toolkit as well. All the promotional material is bilingual.
A new report has also been published in Wales documenting the health and wellbeing benefits of public libraries. You can find this on the Get Libraries campaign page at the bottom of the page and it’s been produced by the Society of Chief Librarians Wales.
Get reading, get better, get libraries is one element of the audience development strand of the Welsh Government’s Libraries Inspire strategy for Welsh libraries.
Any questions about the campaign do get in touch with myself or the organisers Jane Purdie and Bethan Richards in Wrexham CBC.
*Please no comments on the grammar or otherwise of the wording. It’s hard to please everyone all the time. ‘Get Libraries’ here is taken to mean ‘get as in understand’.