Staff at the Royal United Hospital in Bath have taken part in a special new Living Library initiative, where ‘books’ are people and the ‘reading’ consists of a conversation.
The Living Library saw 10 members of staff and volunteers base themselves at the RUH’s Education Centre to discuss a range of subjects with their colleagues, from palliative care, staff counselling and dementia care technology to yoga, physiotherapy and art and design.
There was even Pets as Therapy dog Fudge on hand with owner Martin Fricker.
‘Readers’ could choose the subject of the ‘book’ they wished to ‘borrow’, and sit down with them for a 15-minute chat to find out more about them and their role at the hospital.
Head of Library and Knowledge Services, Jason Ovens, said: “The Living Library event was held as part of national Health Information Week.
“It was a great opportunity for staff to meet and talk to colleagues that they may not otherwise speak to on a day-to-day basis.
“We have 5,500 people working at the RUH and this event showed how staff are working together across the organisation, no matter what their role.
“Staff were very keen to volunteer to be ‘books’ and we had a really good turnout of ‘readers’ too.
“Feedback from staff has been really positive and we’ll be looking to do it again next year.”
Art and Design Manager Hetty Dupays, who manages Art at the Heart, the RUH’s award-winning art and design programme, was one of the staff who played the role of a book in the project.
She said: “It was a pleasure to have the opportunity at this event to talk about Art at the Heart in more detail and the benefits of the programme.
“We were all pleasantly surprised at the interest that this session generated and hope that this will become a regular event.”