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Library TrendsMind the gap 29August 2012.pdf (210.88 kB)

Mind the Gap: Do Librarians Understand Service User Perspectives on Bibliotherapy?

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-06-10, 11:49 authored by Liz Brewster, Barbara Sen, Andrew M. Cox
Bibliotherapy schemes aim to improve mental health and well-being. Schemes focus on engagement with either imaginative literature or self-help texts and are now commonplace in U.K. public libraries. Impetus for bibliotherapy schemes was influenced by health policy and a drive toward partnership working. There is a recognized need for in-depth evaluation of bibliotherapy services; the lack of evaluation is problematic, as the schemes are designed without reference to service user perspectives. There is a need to identify and analyse usage to assess effectiveness of the schemes. Drawing on data from interviews and focus groups with library and health professionals and service users, this article explores the service provider and service user perspective on bibliotherapy schemes. It concludes that—for service providers—there is a lack of clarity and understanding about how bibliotherapy works, and this impacts on the experience of service users. While service providers and service users share a common goal of improving mental health and well-being, their understandings of bibliotherapy differ, meaning there is a potential gap between service provision and service user needs. The article concludes that in-depth research influenced by user-centered design principles, may help to improve services in practice.

History

Citation

Library Trends, 2013, 61 (3), pp. 569-586

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Library Trends

Publisher

John Hopkins Press

issn

0024-2594

eissn

1559-0682

Copyright date

2013

Available date

2013-06-10

Publisher version

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/library_trends/toc/lib.61.3.html

Language

en

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