Having done a Leeds Libraries for Health patch-wide “Christmas advent calendar” style campaign for a few years, we decided to try something a bit different – a January campaign reminding busy NHS staff about the simple joys of reading.

We decided to focus on promoting our recently purchased health and wellbeing titles as well as continuing to promote the Mood Boosting books and our ever increasing fiction collections.

We set up and promoted a page on our Leedslibraries website to highlight the campaign. The page is still available at https://www.leedslibraries.nhs.uk/get-lost-in-a-book/, although some of the wording has slightly changed to make it more sustainable, and relevant all year round. (The originally page said “The bright lights of Christmas are dwindling, the nights are long, it’s cold outside – why not turn to reading and get lost in a book?”)

The page was promoted via newsletters, targeted emails and via twitter (#getlostinabook #Leedslibrariesforhealth). We also tweeted about individual titles from the collections, as well as daily motivational tweets about libraries and reading. It was up to each Trust within the partnership to decide how much they wanted to engage with the campaign, depending on local priorities and pressures.

For the library services in the patch that embraced the campaign, the effects were impressive – with large increases in new user registrations during the month (quadruple the usual monthly figure at Leeds Community Healthcare), and a significant increase in the number of admin staff registering across the city (nearly double the usual monthly average). The twitter campaign kept steady engagement levels throughout the month, and the campaign webpage had over 600 hits during January.

Whilst not all new registrations led to book loans, it has opened up new channels of communication, with many staff observing that they didn’t realise the library had these books, or indeed that the libraries were available for all staff.

In terms of sustainability, the page remains live on our website, and has been used to point staff to these collections, as well as being specifically highlighted in subsequent campaigns (e.g. World Book Day).

The campaign was not necessarily highly innovative (other library services have similar collections, and will have promoted them in a wide variety of ways) but it proved to be a simple, yet highly effective, campaign yielding impressive results with minimal effort.

It was because of the simplicity, and replicability, of the campaign, that we decided to present it as a poster at the conference. Sadly, we didn’t win the best poster competition, but over 50 people took away the printed details that were left alongside the poster, so hopefully we have managed to spread the word about what we did.


Helen Swales
Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Jenny Emmel
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust