As part of our non-fiction stock we have a collection of health books at each of our libraries.  We also provide the following information services:

Reading Well: Books on Prescription

The scheme is aimed at helping people with mild to moderate psychological problems.

What are books on prescription?

Many people develop emotional or psychological problems at some time during their life. The Books on Prescription scheme provides mental health workers with an alternative and additional approach to a problem. A doctor or mental health worker writes a “prescription” for a self-help book. The patient then takes that prescription to the library, exchanges it for the book and then works through the exercises and suggestions included within the book.

There are many self-help books available but the Bolton scheme is based on 29 titles suggested by mental health professionals to cover conditions such as: depression, anxiety, social phobia, panic, anger, stress, low self-esteem and eating disorders. It has proved to be a successful scheme and is used in libraries throughout the country.

How does the Books on Prescription service work?

You can obtain a self-help book from any Bolton library in 3 steps:

1. Following a discussion with a GP or mental health professional a 'prescription' is issued for a relevant title to enable you to learn more about and therefore help manage your health problems.

2. Present your prescription to a member of staff at any library within Bolton.

3. Take your book on loan home with you.

If the book is not immediately available, you will be entitled to a free request. Patient confidentiality is maintained at all times.


Frequently asked questions

Q. How long can I have a book on loan for?

A. You can borrow a book for an initial 3 weeks or the time allocated by the GP or mental health worker, and provided that the book is not required by anyone else you can renew it. You can return it to any library within Bolton.

Q. If the book I have been prescribed is on loan can I choose another book?

A. No, library staff can put a free reservation on the book for you or have it sent from another library.

Q. Do I have to be a member of the library service to make use of the scheme?

A. No, you do not have to be a member of Bolton Libraries.

Q. If I’m not part of the scheme can I borrow these titles?

A. We have all of the titles in the Books on Prescription scheme available to borrow with a Bolton Libraries membership. If you would like more information on joining the library please visit the Join a library page.

For more information on the Reading Well project please visit the Reading Agency website

Dementia Information

As part of the Bolton Dementia Partnership we have book lists available at all libraries as well as an information pack for reference at Central Library. To access the list online please see the Downloads tab above.  All of the books listed are available to borrow from Bolton Libraries. To check stock availability or reserve an item, please go to the Library Catalogue.

Online dementia information can be found here.

Social Care Library

The social care library is a separate collection within Bolton Central library. To be able to borrow books from the social care stock, you must be a member of Bolton Libraries.
There are over a thousand titles in the Social Care library, including books on professional practice, teaching and training, psychology, Parliament papers etc. There are also books written specifically for children in order to help them deal with difficult situations.

If you would like help with accessing any of these resources our Ask Bolton Libraries service can help!

External Links

Bolton Libraries

Bolton Central Library

Le Mans Crescent



Telephone 01204 332853

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