Last week was Health Information Week, a multi-sector campaign aiming to promote good quality health resources that are available to the public. Richmond Library Services joined the campaign to help promote its fantastic array of resources through Twitter using the hashtag #HIW2018. It was a great opportunity for the library service to let people know about the helpful and  reliable resources on offer, and it’s not just books.

Firstly, your library card lets you have access for up to two hours each day on any of our public network computers. You can use the internet to access authoritative websites and carry out health information research at your own convenience. Furthermore, everyone is welcome to use the library service’s free WiFi to help you access resources through your smartphone, tablet or laptop.


Libraries are at the heart of communities, and act as a great focal point for information. Books are a library’s core offer and books about health information are massively important.  By using our online catalogue you can use keywords to search for an array of books on all aspects of health information. Asking for guidance or information regarding health can be uncomfortable or at times embarrassing, so carrying out your own catalogue search and finding books for yourself may alleviate some anxieties.

This is a picture of the library Pinterest board showing health information book covers

By exploring various health topics you can gain an insightful knowledge in to specific conditions and possibly treatment options. What about medical terms? We have some brilliant reference books to help you decipher medical jargon and find out exactly what you’ve been prescribed. We have a number of medical dictionaries and British Medical Association publications for you to consult.

Books can help you become better informed and could help you in starting to lead a healthier lifestyle. We have a huge selection of self-help books so whether you need help getting a better night’s sleep or want to learn more about relaxation techniques and mindfulness and improve overall well being, we’ll have something that fits the bill.

You perhaps want to make changes to your diet. We have so many healthy eating cook books packed with recipes, a perfect way to help teach yourself about nutrition.

Have you been thinking about introducing yourself to more vegetarian and vegan food options? Libraries are filled with numerous meat and diary free cookbooks to get you started. There are amazing recipes that will give you a dose of inspiration for clean healthy eating and keep you on-trend!

Libraries also have a wide range of yoga and fitness DVDs available. At-home workout DVDs are a great option to get in shape without leaving the house. It’s cheaper and more convenient, especially for those not comfortable in public settings or  don’t have time to go to the gym.

There is a style of yoga to suit everyone, regardless of age, gender or fitness levels. Learn what yoga can do for you, from improving your health, helping you lose weight and tone up, reducing stress and lifting your mood. Consider borrowing DVDs or books to gain knowledge and find out how to put it all in to action.

Take a look at out our Health Information Week pinterest board for further recommendations on books and DVDs.

Digital Library
This is a screenshot image of the Digital Library webpage

Our Digital Library allows you immediate access to eBooks and eAudiobooks wherever you are. You can download them within minutes and start reading straightaway. We have a number of online services available to you, all you need is internet access and a Richmond Card.  You can also use the free Wi-Fi in our libraries to add content or stream straight to your device on site.

There are many titles to choose from for you to enjoy and help you relax and unwind in the comfort of your own home. And if you’re on the move, eBooks are ideal for travelling. They don’t take up space and our Digital Library even offers guidebooks so you can get all the practical advice before you go and whilst you’re there. Travel exposes you to different environments and can lower your stress levels. So whether it’s a camping trip in England or exploring a new culture abroad, why not take a look at some of our travels guides to help you plan your next trip, it could be good for your health!

Digital Magazines
This is a screenshot image displaying a selection of food and cookery magazine front covers

Do you like reading magazines? Did you know you can read many magazines on your tablet, smartphone and PC for free? With our RBdigital eMagazines service you can download magazines to your device to read anytime, anywhere and access back copies too. To access this service all you need is your library card.

There’s a lot to choose from. There are popular food and cookery titles for healthy recipes. There are several health and fitness focused magazines to help you get fit and there are lots of magazines to help you with new hobbies. There are also many magazines on outdoor activities and travel.

Search for your favourite magazines and read away. Once you’ve downloaded a magazine you may keep it as long as you like and you can download as many as you wish.

You can search for a specific title by using the search box option or search by genre, for example Health and Fitness by using the All Genres drop down menu.

This is an instructional image describing the ebook app Libby

Meet Libby. Libby makes it easier than ever to borrow and enjoy eBooks and eAudiobooks from our Digital Library. It just takes a few taps to find, borrow, and start reading on your phone or tablet. The app is available via Apple app store, Google Play store for Androids and Microsoft app store, so why not get it today?

Once you’ve downloaded the app and logged in with your library card you’re ready to read or listen. Start by browsing titles, choose what you’d like to read and start enjoying the health benefits of reading. Immersing ourselves in a book can help reduce stress, help with depression and improve our cognitive behaviour.  Reading is both educational and pleasurable but can sometimes make us feel more positive.

Libby makes reading easier, convenient and more accessible. No need to lug books around with you, download the app and read away anytime, anywhere. Brilliant for when you’re commuting, away on holiday or just relaxing around the home.

You can use the Richmond upon Thames Library Services free WiFi to download the Libby app, and while you’re there be sure to ask members of staff for further information.

IT Sessions

Libraries throughout the borough of Richmond upon Thames offer free computer taster sessions. Friendly and knowledgeable staff will help guide you whether you are a beginner or just need a boost. We will show you how to use the Digital Library and how to make the most of the electronic resources the library service has to offer. One-to-one taster sessions are available throughout the week via appointment. Are you aware of the many fitness apps that you can download on to your smartphone and tablet? If you need help understanding apps then look nowhere else and book a taster session. We will provide you with basic guidance on how to locate and download apps to your device and provide further information for you to take home. If you require help with any of the resources discussed in this blog piece then please do get in touch.

So, whatever information you’re after and however you wish to access it, we’re sure to have something or some way of helping you improve your well-being, your health and your happiness.