We launched our Book club in February 2019 to highlight the benefits of leisure reading for clinical staff and students and to promote the library to non-users. Every month, we choose a Book of the month, which is displayed in our 4 libraries and recommended on social media. Our choices often tie in with topical events, for example, Women and power for International Women’s Day and Life on our planet for NHS Sustainability Day. We run a Facebook poll to choose a summer reading Book of the month and select a Christmas book for December – Twas the nightshift before Christmas is one of our most popular BOTMs so far.

One of our early objectives was to take the Book club out of the libraries to communicate with people who didn’t already use us. We had regular book stalls at Grand round, outside the hospital restaurants and at Trust inductions and attended all the Trust’s conferences. The pandemic prevented these activities or moved them online, so last year we ran the Book club challenge as an alternative way of encouraging library members and non-members to read. We deliberately made it unchallenging – read 3 books between September and Christmas and write a short review of each one. Everyone who completed the challenge received a goody bag. Ninety people registered for the challenge, of whom 21 were new members. We are running the Book club challenge again this year.

Two of the comments below this post on Facebook:

“Have said for way too long need to make more time for reading……I’m definitely in”

“Oh I love this idea. Great for the mind and wellbeing and making time to chill a little. Love this 🙂

A recent innovation has been inviting a local author to join us. Our Book Club works closely with the Trust’s Staff Network Groups and support as many of their initiatives as we can.

For Black History Month 2022 our Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network Chair arranged for a visit by Kayode Akinropo, the author of Scars do heal. We bought multiple copies of the book and advertised the author visit in our libraries and in the Trust’s Facebook page. On the day, Kayode arrived with his wife, both dressed in their traditional Nigerian costume. He read to us from the book, an account of a young Nigerian boy called Tayo and his family as he grows up and struggles to gain an education. There were lots of questions from the audience about the book, how Kayode writes and whether he will write another novel. And then we had a lively discussion about the different education systems in Britain and Nigeria, with many of the audience sharing their memories of growing up in different countries. http://library.northumbria.nhs.uk/2022/11/03/scars-do-heal/


Another new development that we’re very enthusiastic about is sharing our Book club collections with other libraries. We have already sent some books to a couple of local NHS libraries and are now ready to promote this more widely. Whether you would like to start your own Book club or want to support colleagues setting up reading groups, you can borrow quantities of our Book club titles. See more information and get in touch here