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Health and Wellbeing

We are keen to promote well-being among our residents and we have many books and services that can help.


Here you will find out more about the Books on Prescription scheme, the services we provide to Care Homes and assistive technology that can be found in our libraries.


You will also find useful links to services and organisations that offer information on specific illnesses and conditions, sources of grants, aids to easier living, help and advice. 

Health and Well Being

Man checking books out of a library

Books on Prescription

Book Prescription Wales is a scheme that aims to help people with mild to moderate emotional problems to make use of high quality self-help books that have been specially selected by psychologists and counsellors working in Wales.


All Vale of Glamorgan Libraries hold a set of these useful and popular books.


If you are given a book prescription by a GP or other health professional you can bring it to your local library and the staff will locate the book for you.


If it is not on the shelves at one library we may be able to obtain it within a few days from another library. You do not have to be a library member to take out one of these books if you come with a prescription, but we recommend that you do join in order to take advantage of the wider range of books and services available to you.

Children with parents

Child and Family Bibliotherapy

Many parents turn to their GPs and health professionals for help coping with a range of emotional difficulties. 


The use of self-help books to understand and overcome emotional problems is known as "bibliotherapy". NHS Wales has identified a number of books covering topics such as anger, bereavement, bullying, self confidence, divorce, eating problems, potty training, sibling rivalry, sleep problems, step-families and more. 


An essential feature of this scheme is that it offers self-help books to the family, so that the family can help the child. Some of the books are suitable for a child to read, but the majority is directed at the family group.


Similar to the Books on Prescription scheme, you are given a recommendation to bring to the library and exchange it for the book.

 moodboosting books logo


Mood-Boosting Books

Mood-boosting Books are a selection of uplifting novels, non-fiction and poetry recommended by readers in the UK.


We suggest that people using the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme may also like to try some mood-boosting fiction or poetry, though the books are not prescribed, endorsed or recommended by health professionals.


Everybody likes a good book, so look out for this symbol in our libraries and you can be sure of a satisfying read.

Reading group

Shared Reading

Shared Reading can help you regain that sense of wonder and enjoyment in a good story well told.


The Barry Library Shared Reading group meets at 1:00pm on Fridays in the small Community Room upstairs. Refreshments are provided free of charge. 


We all need a break from our busy lives, a moment of relaxation and "me" time. Shared Reading groups can be set up in all sorts of venues: coffee shops and cafes, mother and toddler groups, care homes, surgeries, hostels, prisons and yes, even libraries!


All members of the group are given copies of the chosen text - a poem or short story for instance - and one member of the group, usually the facilitator, reads it aloud. Much of the benefit comes from the opportunity to then discuss the reading in a safe group environment.

"It's all about achieving an emotional connection with the literature" says one reader.


"I hadn't read poetry since school, but talking it through helps me understand it better and I love it so much I'm even writing my own poetry now!" says another.

Shared Reading has also been found to be beneficial to people suffering loss, loneliness, depression and those in the early stages of dementia.


Assistive Technology

We have a number of services to enhance the library experience of our Visually and Hearing Impaired users.


All libraries are fitted with an induction loop system for users with hearing aids. At the counter, turn your hearing aid to the T setting (not all aids are equipped with this) in order to make use of this facility.


Our full-time libraries have adapted PCs in both the children's and adults' areas with large-button keyboards and an extra large tracker ball mouse.


Two types of scanner are also available: a Pulse Data Smartview Scannar to enlarge printed text is available at Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and Penarth, and a Humanware Scannar that enlarges and also plays back the printed word available at Barry, Llantwit Major and Penarth. (Users will need to bring in their own audio headphones for use with this scanner.)


All our libraries stock a wide selection of Large Print Books and Audio Books, and we also have a stock of over 200 DVDs with Audio Description.


Our staff attend Disability Awareness and other courses as a standard part of our Equalities training. If you feel that there is more we could do to support our readers in accessing books, audio books, newspapers and other information, please ask to speak to your Librarian.

Care Homes Service

Our Care Homes Service provides a regular, changing supply of books to care homes throughout the Vale, provided by their nearest library and delivered usually on a monthly basis.

Our Outreach Officer visits the home to discuss the residents’ reading tastes, and then liaises with the library over frequency of deliveries, number of books, talking books, etc. The Care Home may borrow up to 120 books at any one time, but must also undertake to look after the books carefully and make sure all are returned.


If you are resident in a Care Home that does not have a visit from the Pop-Up Library or have library books delivered, or if you work at a Care Home and are interested in taking advantage of this service for your residents, please contact your nearest library to arrange a visit.


Elderly lady reading

Home Library Service

Our service for those who cannot get out to the library themselves and who don't have someone else to go to the library for them is increasing in popularity, both with readers and those who want to volunteer their time to the library service.


Contact your local library to arrange a home visit. For full details about the scheme, please visit our Home Library Service page.