Norfolk uses data in libraries’ public health drive

Norfolk County Council has won a national award for its libraries’ health education work, which involves tailoring each library’s work based on local public health data.

In September, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals awarded Norfolk its annual Libraries Change Lives award for the county’s Healthy Libraries project. This involves activities in the county’s 47 libraries including pedal-powered smoothie bikes, hula-hoop challenges and neighbourhood lunches. Continue reading “Norfolk uses data in libraries’ public health drive”

NHS partners up with libraries to boost wellbeing

Volunteer-run libraries are taking on health promotion work as well as supporting vulnerable people in the local community

Barton-under-Needwood library in Staffordshire is overseen by an NHS trust: it allows volunteers to run it but also means it offers advice on mental health and healthy living. Continue reading “NHS partners up with libraries to boost wellbeing”

The libraries that offer sexual health services and cancer support

Coventry’s Central Library runs health-related events and a mental health drop-in service, reaching people that the NHS can’t

How Coventy City Council works with a local NHS trust to provide advice on sexual health and cancer in its libraries. Continue reading “The libraries that offer sexual health services and cancer support”

Journalism moment of 2015: visiting a warehouse in Swindon

For me, the best thing about being a journalist is getting the chance to investigate and learn new things. My favourite articles in 2015 were ones where I got to do this. For Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network I found out about the data used to track the health of people in cities, and then the big issues that will affect urban health over the next few decades. (And I mapped them – below.) Continue reading “Journalism moment of 2015: visiting a warehouse in Swindon”

Oxford Bodleian Library’s Book Storage Facility (in Swindon)

Oxford is a very crowded place, and it is very hard to build anything there. As a result, the greatest single part of the University of Oxford Bodleian Library collection – the Book Storage Facility, holding 8,328,367 books (and roughly 1.5m maps) on the day I visited – is not actually in Oxford, but on the Keypoint trading estate just north of the A420 on the edge of Swindon.

The beautiful new Weston Library on Broad Street, opened last spring, would not exist without the Book Storage Facility, because the latter holds all the books that were previously stored in the space that is now the atrium and exhibition space (including the Sheldon Tapestry Map of Worcestershire, featuring Chipping Norton). And the Book Storage Facility would not exist without a load of IT: the environmental control systems, the Bodleian catalogue and the software that works out the routes for the pickers that retrieve and return items to the huge 11-metre high shelves. Continue reading “Oxford Bodleian Library’s Book Storage Facility (in Swindon)”