Library Community Outreach Showcased: Campaspe Shire

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Campaspe Library Service has launched a two-part podcast as part of a research project undertaken by Nerida Dye, the Campaspe Library’s Community Outreach Coordinator. The podcast explores the concept of social prescribing and how library services can improve the health and wellbeing of residents.

Mrs Dye’s research, funded under the State Library Victoria’s Barrett Reid Scholarship program, focussed on gathering local perspectives, working with allied health personnel from across Campaspe, and consulting residents who have been supported through Campaspe Library Service’s social and recreational support programs. The Social Prescribing Library aims to link people to social and support services within their community.

Mrs Dye said that social prescribing aims to identify ways to encourage and enable individuals to take up opportunities to socialise and get involved in things that interest them.

“The program is for people who need assistance with their mental health, have social needs which affect their wellbeing or feel lonely or isolated.

“We work with these individuals to provide home or community-based services which support social, mental and emotional wellbeing,” Mrs Dye said.

Campaspe Shire Council Mayor, Cr Rob Amos said the podcast was a wonderful culmination of Mrs Dye’s work and was a further demonstration of how libraries are important social hubs, not just a place to borrow books.

“The work that our library team do out in our community by bringing the library services to residents who cannot attend in person is highly valued, as you will hear from testimonies in the podcast.

“This podcast is also a great initiative to demonstrate a different communication channel that Council has utilised to tell our residents about projects,” said Mayor Amos

Campaspe Library Services Manager, Jenny Mustey said she was very proud of the work that had gone into the project and the podcast.

“Nerida has been recognised as a leader in the social prescribing field on a national level and will be presenting at the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Conference in Adelaide next month.”

The social prescribing project and other Campaspe library health and wellbeing initiatives are also featured in the April/May edition of RM Williams Outback Magazine in an article titled Bush Libraries: a new chapter.

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