The Reading Well programme has undergone an independent evaluation each year since its launch in 2013 to help us understand how helpful reading the books has been and how we can develop the schemes in the future.
Since 2013, a total of over 1.2 million people have borrowed 2.3 million Reading Well titles from their public library!
In 2018/2019, 323,129 people borrowed 345,496 Reading Well books.
More key findings
- 99% of English library authorities run a Reading Well scheme
- 100% of Welsh libraries authorities run Reading Well for mental health and Reading Well for dementia
- 90% of people reported that they found their book helpful
- 100% of young people reported that they would recommend their book to a friend
- 89% of health professionals surveyed said it helps people understand more about their condition; 89% said it helped them support people outside of consultation time.
- "This is a well liked and valuable scheme that just works."
- "The Reading Well programme is fantastic, helping us provide info and support, raising the profile of the library and extending our health offer."
- "Being able to provide Reading Well and ancillary services through the medium of Welsh is vital."
- "I did have talking therapies too and felt that the books helped just as much as the therapy."
- "It's been a great tool to normalise mental health and increase awareness."
- "After reading the book, I spoke to others about the importance of communication and put into practice what I had learnt."
- "Please keep this invaluable resource going, thank you."
Reading Well in Wales
The Welsh Government are supporting The Reading Agency to deliver Reading Well in all 22 library authorities in Wales.
Reading Well for dementia was launched in Wales in 2018 as part of the new Dementia Action Plan for Wales. Reading Well for mental health was launched in Wales in 2019. Find out more about Reading Well in Wales on our website.
Reading Well for dementia in Wales was evaluated as part of the 2018/19 evaluation. Some key findings were:
- The scheme reached 6,217 users in the first year
- 90% of librarians said the scheme had helped to support people in their community
- Libraries surveyed had received up to £30,000 in additional funding to deliver the scheme.
We will continue to collect feedback on the scheme from people who have used it.
We've developed an online user feedback form. This is signposted in the user leaflet and you may want to link to it from your local library website.
Read a selection of case studies on the impact of Reading Well on adults and young people.
Please get in touch if you know of service users who would be willing to provide Reading Well Books on Prescription case studies, or if you're a member of library staff and have a best practice case study to share.
Universal Health Offer
Reading Well is part of the Libraries Connected Universal Health Offer. Find out more about the other Universal Offers on the Libraries Connected website.