Press release – Monmouthshire libraries encourage residents to pick up a book to improve mental wellbeing

Reading can go a long way to help improve mental wellbeing. That’s the message from Monmouthshire libraries as the council marks Mental Health Awareness week. People are being encouraged to pick up a book and make the most of Monmouthshire’s online services during this challenging period.

Studies show reading for pleasure can help you escape, utilise your mind, get your creative juices flowing, help you learn and discover new things and take you on wonderful journeys. It comes as the Reading Agency reveals the UK is reading more during the lockdown, with 1 in 3 adults reading more, rising to almost 1 in 2 (45%) 18-24 year olds.

Members of Monmouthshire libraries can download free eBooks and eAudiobooks through the council’s Borrowbox service. Borrowbox is the all Wales library digital platform for eBooks and eAudiobooks. Temporary online library memberships have now been made available for anyone wishing to use their time at home to get into a book.

The Culture and Sport Department of the Welsh Government has made £250k available to public libraries in Wales, which will enable them to provide additional Borrowbox digital resources to read and engage with. The funding has also been used to extend the range of titles on Borrowbox to support children and young adults during the lockdown period, alongside materials for health and wellbeing

Residents are also being encouraged to pick up a “Reading for Mental Health” title during these challenging times. This collection can help a person understand and manage their mental health. A range of these titles are also available to download as eBooks or eAudiobooks.

For more information please visit https://reading-well.org.uk/wales

Cabinet Member for Community Hubs, Councillor Paul Jordan said: “We know this is a challenging time for everyone and facing these unusual circumstances can have an impact on a person’s well-being. Just something as small as picking up a book can benefit our mental health and I would encourage everyone to make the most of our fantastic online library services.”

Mood Boosting Books have been chosen for their uplifting and mood boosting qualities. Some of the titles are available through Borrowbox. For more information please visit https://reading-well.org.uk/books/mood-boosting-books

Monmouthshire Libraries also offers a free online magazine service, RBdigital, with access to current and back issues of popular wide-ranging magazine titles.

To access Borrowbox and RBdigital visit  https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/community-hubs-libraries/digital-downloads/ENDS