Northampton's favourite books make up new hospital library

Northampton General Hospital is celebrating World Book Day (2 MAR) by launching its Bedside Book Club, a new library service for patients. 

The library will be run by the hospital’s volunteers and was created thanks to book donations from the public of Northampton, with thriller novel The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins proving to be the town’s most popular choice of book to donate. 

A donation of £500 from the Friends of NGH charity covered the cost of a tablet device to catalogue the books and manage lending as well as plastic coating covers to minimise any risk of infection from sharing. 

The new mobile library service will be piloted on Dryden ward (cardiology), Finedon ward (renal) and Becket ward (respiratory) with plans to roll out the service across all adult wards by the end of the year. 

Campaign saw 5,000 books donated

Earlier this year, the hospital asked people living and working in Northampton to donate their favourite book to its Bedside Book Club, the new library service for patients.

Emma Wimpress, volunteer services manager said: “We’re expanding our volunteer service to introduce a bedside library service for our patients. When we launched the campaign, our aim was to amass a collection of books that really reflects Northampton’s favourite reading material and give our patients a great choice of books to read while they’re staying with us. 

Northampton's favourite book

 “We’re still cataloguing all the books but it’s apparent that The Girl on the Train was our most donated book. We’ve been given a huge variety, from contemporary page-turners to literary heavyweights and we’re really pleased that as well as a fantastic collection of novels, we’ve also got a great choice of poetry, non-fiction, biography and photographic books. 

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response. Over 5,000 books were donated including two enormous builder sacks filled by Saints rugby fans at one of their recent home games. 

Support from local organisations

Local organisation supporting the scheme included:

  • BBC Radio Northampton
  • Fitter Body Bootcamp
  • Grant Thornton 
  • Nationwide
  • Northampton Borough Council
  • Northampton College 
  • Northampton Saints Rugby Club
  • Northampton Town Football Club
  • Northamptonshire County Council and First for Wellbeing
  • Northamptonshire Police
  • Royal & Derngate
  • Tesco Mereway 
  • University of Northampton 

Carolyn Fox, director of nursing, midwifery and patient services, said: ““We couldn’t have done it without the support of those organisations who agreed to host donation points for us. Their involvement meant it was a true Northampton campaign.  Students, sports fans, and theatre goers; grocery shoppers, public sector employees and town centre visitors all had easy access to a drop-off point for their donation.”

Waste management company Cawleys, which supplies the hospital’s waste and recycling materials, produced the branded drop-boxes free of charge in support of the campaign. 

Posted on Tuesday 9th May 2017
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