Pop-up library: library wellbeing support during the pandemic

Thomas Osborne, Library Manager and Naomi Cassidy, Outreach Librarian, working with Claire Haley, Workplace Wellbeing Lead
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust

At the start of the pandemic, many colleagues at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston (UHBW) experienced difficulty accessing wellbeing resources at a time when they were greatly needed. The provision of a temporary pop-up library at a safe location within one of the Trust’s main hospital buildings enabled colleagues to browse and borrow a range of books during rest breaks. These books provided effective strategies for dealing with typical psychological issues, such as managing anxiety and practicing mindfulness.

The library team maintained a daily range of self-help books for colleagues to borrow. This initiative was incredibly accessible and as a result, encouraged members of UHBW staff to become members of the library service. The pop-up library enabled library members to access materials and tools they may not ordinarily have explored.

Verbal feedback from service users was extremely positive. Colleagues expressed gratitude to the library team in providing this offer at a time when other facilities were increasingly unavailable, and found the resources a positive distraction during breaks. Library membership and engagement increased, and the profile of both the library service and workplace wellbeing offer was raised due to the collaboration between the library and the wellbeing team. Wellbeing tips and tools were adopted by colleagues to help them to stay safe and well during the various waves of the pandemic and beyond.

The Trust charity has agreed to fund additional resources to enable this provision to be continued in the future to support wellbeing events held across multiple Trust sites.

HLG Newsletter
Winter 2021

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