The Reading Well national scheme for people living with long-term conditions started in Wokingham Borough libraries on 3 July.
It gives people living with long-term conditions and their carers free to borrow expert-endorsed books full of information, support and advice on a range of conditions.
People living with long-term conditions spend on average just four hours a year with a health professional, but 8,756 more self-managing. So there is a huge need for accessible and reliable health information to help people understand and take an active role in managing their symptoms.
The scheme has a recommended reading list of 28 books. The list includes health information, memoir and self-management titles, and covers conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease, as well as common symptoms such as fatigue, pain, wellbeing and sleep problems.
It is estimated some 26 million people in England are living with at least one long term condition.
“It’s great our borough libraries are participating in this scheme to offer information and practical support to residents who are living with long term health conditions,” said Cllr Norman Jorgensen, executive member for environment, sports, environmental health, leisure and libraries.
The scheme is being delivered in English public libraries by The Reading Agency in partnership with the Society of Chief Librarians. It is being funded by Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust, and supported by a range of health organisations including Public Health England, Health Education England, Self Management UK and The Richmond Group of Charities.