Specialist Library Services

Books on Prescription

The Books on Prescription scheme

The Books on Prescription scheme is part of the 'Reading Well' programme - a national scheme that aims to highlight the positive effect books and reading can have on health and wellbeing.

Under this scheme, GPs can prescribe books to help patients deal with certain mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Instead of taking your prescription to the chemist and collecting medicine, you take it to the library and collect a book.

There is strong evidence  that self-help reading can help people with common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, sometimes on its own or with other forms of treatment. The books on prescription books have been recommended by experts. They have been tried and tested and found to be useful by others.

The Books on Prescription books are kept on the open shelves, and can be borrowed by anybody, not just people with prescriptions. If you're unhappy about library staff knowing what you're borrowing, it's not a problem. All six Council-run libraries - Cowes, Freshwater, Lord Louis (Newport), Ryde, Sandown and Ventnor - have optional self-service machines, allowing you to issue and return books without anyone seeing.

Click here for the Reading Well: Books on Prescription booklist.

Shelf Help - Reading Well for Young People

The Shelf Help collection is a collection of books for teenagers and young people aged 13 to 18, designed to offer support and advice on common mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and stress. The books, which include self-help, psycho-education, memoirs, graphic novels and fiction, have all been chosen by young people and health professionals. Subjects covered are ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder); anxiety, worry and panic; autism and Asperger's syndrome; body image and eating disorders; anxiety; bullying; confidence and self-esteem; depression; mood swings; OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder); self-harm, and stress. 

You can view the full booklist here. The full set of 35 books is stocked in all 6 Council run libraries as listed below:

They are kept on the open shelves, usually in the teenage section, and can be borrowed by anybody. You don't need a referral by a mental health professional.