Virtual Book Festival

Welcome to the Knowledge and Library Services first Virtual Book Festival to celebrate Health Information Week (6-12th of July). Health Information week aims to promote high quality information and this year it has the two themes of:

Finding information you can trust
Physical and mental wellbeing

The book festival focuses on subjects around these topics and includes:

  • A selection of new books available on BorrowBox; which includes fiction, non-fiction and self-help books.
  • Book recommendations from your colleagues and KLS staff; and podcast recordings discussing Health Information Week topics; to inspire you with your reading.
  • The range of resources available to you.

Every day we will be focusing on a new topic, which can be explored in detail below.

COVID-19 and your mental health and wellbeing

The current COVID-19 situation can impact your health and wellbeing. The Mental Health Foundation highlight, “Fear and anxiety are possibly the most common emotional responses any of us will feel as we approach the release from lockdown.” (Mental Health Foundation).

We have a range of titles on anxiety, such as:

The Anxiety Cure: Live a Life Free From Panic in Just a Few Weeks as an eBook and audiobook

and audiobooks of

Reasons to Stay Alive

The Anxiety Solution: A Quieter Mind, a Calmer You

For more books, in print, eBook or audio on anxiety and other mental health topics please visit the Wellbeing collection mental health books list

COVID-19 and finding information

If you want to check the facts, then why not visit Full Fact's Coronavirus page or view the IFLA's  COVID-19 How to Spot Fake News infographic.

For tailored information on COVID-19 sources of information, visit the Knowledge and Library Services Finding the Evidence: Coronavirus page.

And if you would like to read more about fake news why not borrow the book, Bad News: Why we fall for fake news on BorrowBox. 

Mindfulness is the “the ability to be fully present in the moment” (Headspace) and can be any activity which allows you to do this, whether that be meditation, physical exercise, gardening or even reading. We have available a range of books which discuss mindfulness:

We have new titles available on BorrowBox, including fiction such as the Booker Prize winning book Girl, Woman, Other (eBook) and The Salt Path (audiobook). To learn more about The Salt Path an interview with Raynor Winn is available from Penguin here

Some recommendations...

Interested in hearing more from the authors of the books included in our book festival? We have provided a list of author interviews from publishers and book awards here

If you are looking to get lost in a book, we have compiled a list of recommendations from you and from members of the Knowledge and Library Services staff, some are available from the library collection and others are recommendations which you may want to explore at your local public library. View the recommendations.

Physical activity can have a beneficial impact on your health and wellbeing, “Many people find that physical activity helps them maintain positive mental health,” (MIND) and it can be anything from trying to sit less, walk more, gardening and activities such as running or cycling. 

We have a selection of books on physical activity, these include:


An excerpt of The Well Gardened Mind can be listened to on Simon & Schuster Audio on Soundcloud here.

More books can be found on the Wellbeing collections physical activity and the outdoors book list.



We recommend... 

Today's book review, by a member of the KLS team, is for The Natural Health Service by Isabel Hardman.

"In The Natural Health Service, the author uses her own personal experience, interviews with mental illness sufferers and psychologists, and the latest research to examine what role wildlife and exercise can play in helping anyone cope with mental illness.
It looks at how walking, running, swimming, Gardening, plants and animals can help with mental health and wellbeing. The author discusses research showing that contact with nature can reduce anxiety and stress, improve mood and improve well-being." 

This book can be borrowed on BorrowBox

Information skills, such as literature searching, are a key part of the research process.
We have two short videos which are introductions on two searching topics:

Formulating an answerable search question can be viewed here


Tips and tricks for search terms can be viewed here.

We also have the following eBooks on literature search skills: 

You can discover more research skills books on topics such as effective searching, reading research articles and systematic reviews on the Learning and development collection scientific writing and research skills book list.

Literature searching tips 

Caroline and Nicola, authors of the Searching Skills Toolkit, have shared their top searching tips: 

  1. Keep a record: Remember to record all the details of any searching that you do  - search terms, databases/websites used and dates of search, number of results. Most sources will allow you to save your search strategy electronically so you can repeat it or edit it later.
  2. Identify gold standard papers: Run a quick search on TRIP or Google to identify key papers and reports. The reports can be used to generate terms to add to the search strategy. The key papers can be used to test the search strategy, to make sure they are retrieved.
  3. Use frameworks to plan searches: Use a framework to organise search terms. PICO is a common one, but it doesn't always suit public health searches, so other frameworks are available
  4. Refer to Help pages: Databases use different symbols for wildcards and truncation, so check the Help page to make sure you are using the right ones.
  5. Choosing additional search terms: If you find a totally relevant paper, but the others are less relevant, then see what other thesaurus terms and key words that paper has included, and build them in to your search strategy.
  6. Take your time: Remember that building a search strategy isn't always easy and can often be the longest stage when running a search, particularly with systematic review searches. Don't worry about investing time in building a search strategy. It will be time well-spent.
  7. Manage citations: Download the citations from your searches in an EndNote library. This allows you to keep track of your results, to delete duplicate citations when searching multiple databases, and to import full text pdfs. You can also use EndNote to easily cite your references in documents, and create bibliographies, using different output styles. Find out more about EndNote here.

Visit the Knowledge and Library Services training pages to explore what information skills training we offer and the literature searching page to explore the variety of searches we can do for you.

Reading and your mental health and wellbeing

Library use is positively associated with subjective wellbeing, with library users having higher life satisfaction, higher happiness and a higher sense of purpose in life. Reading can have a positive impact on your wellbeing too, helping to reduce stress.

Two members of the Knowledge and Library Services team have written about how reading has helped their mental health and their experiences of reading over the past few months during COVID-19. Also explored is some of the evidence on how reading and bibliotherapy can improve your health and wellbeing. This can be read here

If you are interested in discovering more books that the Knowledge and Library Services have, on BorrowBox there are a variety of titles;

fiction exploring mental health and life topics such as,

Grief is the Thing with Feathers (eBook)

Beartown (eBook)

The Shock of the Fall (eBook)
An interview with Nathan Filer is available from Waterstones here.  


and a range of non-fiction books, including: 

Biased (eBook)

Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Kind (audiobook)

Talking to Strangers (eBook)
An interview with Malcolm Gladwell can be viewed online here by Penguin. 


Where can I browse the books? 

If you would like to virtually browse the full range of eBooks and audiobooks we have on BorrowBox, we have book lists available for the BorrowBox eBooks and audiobooks. Also All titles in the Wellbeing collection can also be found in the Wellbeing collection list.

For updates on the Wellbeing collection visit the Wellbeing collection page and read the new quarterly Wellbeing collection newsletter


Further information

Knowledge and Library Services provide a variety of books on wellbeing and learning and development topics. To find out more, please visit the Wellbeing collection and Learning and development collection pages.



Resources and organisations referenced on this page are intended as a useful guide for information purposes only. Inclusion or exclusion of resources does therefore not signify that Knowledge and Library Services endorse or do not endorse the activities of a particular organisation. Knowledge and Library Services are not responsible for the information or services provided by external organisations. 

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