Professional Publications on BT

This section includes short, experience- and opinion-based publications from professional magazines and online publications by librarians and other library practitioners. For more professional publications, see under “BT with Children and Young Adults.”


| General Issues | Mental Health |


McCloskey, T. (1998). Bibliotherapy for beginners: An annotated bibliography. Current Studies In Librarianship, 22(1/2), 20-33.
Burek Pierce, J. (2010). A feeling for books: Therapeutic connections to library practice. American Libraries, 41(11/12), 48.
Ott, B. (1995). The back page: what to do when you’re sick. Booklist, 92(3), 60.

Manley, W. (1996). The Manley arts: Bibliotherapy. Booklist, 92(7), 51.

McCloskey considers the different meanings of bibliotherapy as it is discussed and practiced in a number of fields. The article includes an annotated bibliography for the purpose of familiarizing readers with bibliotherapy’s various manifestations. Burek Pierce takes a critical look at the “hype of self-help” and questions whether bibliotherapy is the province of the librarian. Ott’s and Manley’s humorous reflections on the qualities of books and movies (particularly the work of Henry James) warn of the dire consequences of bad bibliotherapeutic advice. The articles acknowledge the real and consequential impact that books have on readers and encourage librarians to consider the practice of bibliotherapy with care and due diligence.


Healthy reading for dementia patients. (2012). CILIP Update, 11(11), 16.
Nother, M. (2011). Read yourself well. Public Library Journal, 26(1), 20-21.
Johnson, R. S. (1998). Bibliotherapy: Battling depression. Library Journal, 123(10), 73-76.
Barkway, J. (2007). Regeneration through reading. Public Library Journal, 22(1), 13.

“Healthy Reading For Dementia Patients” describes a “Books on Prescription” project in which public librarians together with doctors and mental health professionals offer authoritative literature on dementia to patients and their families. Nother reports on a similar initiative involving collaboration between librarians and medical practitioners, where library staff members are trained in conducting “therapeutic reading groups.” The trained librarians of the “Get into Reading” project described in Barkway’s article have a broader aim of using shared reading meetings to improve cohesion and well-being in challenging communities. Finally, Johnson provides collection development advice on books and other materials dealing with depression and includes an annotated list of non-fiction titles for consideration. The first three articles clearly portray the benefits of collaboration between libraries and medical practitioners, while Johnson’s selections are meant to be informative, rather than therapeutic.