Public library users in Redbridge are getting help to navigate health information on a 1-2-1 face to face basis!

How does it work?

Aubrey Keep Library, NELFT NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with Redbridge Libraries to provide health information “drop-in” sessions at libraries across the borough. The two hour sessions are staffed by health information specialists who are able to ascertain user information needs and signpost to relevant, high quality resources.

So far drop-ins have taken place at Redbridge Central Library and Wanstead Library; more dates are scheduled. At the first drop-in a keen user was signposted to the Reading Well books for Dementia and used the self-service issue stations to borrow two books, all before the official start time!

Why have we implemented this service?

The drop-ins provide an opportunity to promote print and online information resources. The Reading Agency’s Reading Well collections are a key resource. Serendipitously, the timing of the drop-ins has coincided with the launch of the NHS App, a new simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services.

The drop-ins are part of Aubrey Keep Library’s 12 month Health Literacy Project, which is managed by Catherine Jenkins.  The project will also see NHS library staff working with clinical colleagues to raise their awareness of health literacy issues and relevant resources in areas including young people’s emotional wellbeing and dementia.

Health literacy is the ability to make good decisions about health. There are links to digital literacy in that those who are least likely to be on line are those who most need health and care services (see for example Gann, 2015) Health literacy is a priority for NHS knowledge and library services.

Collaboration is key!

These drop-ins show how libraries can collaborate cross sector to address overlapping priorities and align with the wider NHS integration agenda.

Keep up to date with the project by following @nelft_library and @RedbridgeLibs ‏

Written by Natasha Howard BSc MA MCLIP
Library Manager, NELFT