Promoting Health and Wellbeing through Public Libraries

Section: Self Management and Co-Production HubType: News Item Date Published: 31st October 2017

A year long project to increase library staff knowledge of self management and health literacy.

The Self Management Team within the ALLIANCE, in partnership with NHS Health Scotland and Scotland public library services have recently been successful in their application for the ‘Public Library Improvement Fund’ (PLIF) to take forward a project to support self management and health literacy.

Project Aim:

Develop, test and deliver four workshops and a training resource for public library staff, to increase their knowledge about self management of long term conditions and health literacy enabling them to feel confident offering support and information to people about their health and wellbeing.

This project involves collaboration by:

  • Public libraries across Scotland, led by Jane Milne (Midlothian Libraries), Strategic Lead for the Social Wellbeing Strand of Ambition and Opportunity.
  • The ALLIANCE, lead organisation for self management in the third sector
  • NHS Scotland library services, coordinated by NHS Education for Scotland Knowledge Services Group.


The ALLIANCE will work with a health literacy expert from NHS Scotland to adapt and tailor existing workshop models, tools and training resources for health literacy and self management, used by The ALLIANCE and NHS Education for Scotland. The training will include accessing and understanding quality assured health and wellbeing information resources and services. It will cover wellbeing in the broadest sense, including access to sources of support for return to work after unemployment due to disability or other reasons.

The ALLIANCE will facilitate focus groups to consult with people living with long term conditions who use library services (or who have ideas about how library services could help), and library staff, to gather insights and case studies to inform training design. They will consult on the draft approach, and adapt delivery based on feedback.

They will then deliver four training sessions, organised and administered by the public library lead, in North, West, South East and Central Belt of Scotland. The public library lead organisation will evaluate the training to inform future improvement. The workshop methodology and training resources will be made available via the NHS Health Literacy Place website.


This project will:

  • Help to empower people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to use health information, to be active partners in their care, and to navigate health and social care systems.
  • Position public libraries as key partners in creating the community-focused, person-centred model of health and wellbeing outlined in national health strategy.
  • Consolidate and raise the profile of public library staff in achieving the transformation of health and care.

What Next?:

Group discussions will take place in seven localities across Scotland before the end of January 2018. More information is available on our events page or please get in touch to find out more.


For more information please contact Marianne Brennan, Development Officer with the Self Management Team at the ALLIANCE by email or call 0141 404 0231.

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