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Health Libr Rev. 1991 Dec;8(4):210-9.

Children in hospital: I. Survey of library and book provision.

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  • 1Department of Information and Library Studies, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.


Between 1989 and 1991 two related research projects were undertaken by the authors at the Department of Information and Library Studies, Aberystwyth, into services for children in hospital. This article summarizes the findings of the first of the projects, a survey of book and library services to children in hospital, giving a national profile of provision. It demonstrates a substantial provision of reading and other materials available to children in hospital but a small number of library services, as such. Nurses, teachers and hospital play staff generally exploited these materials for pleasure, educational and therapeutic purposes. The survey was based on questionnaires sent to all hospitals in the UK which treated children and was addressed, where possible, to hospital librarians, otherwise to the senior paediatric nurse. A shorter questionnaire was also addressed to all local authority Young People's and Schools Library services for a public library or school library perspective. Where there was evidence of the use of reading therapy, a further questionnaire was sent to explore its practice. A second article will discuss the results of the second project, which was devoted to a further exploration of reading therapy with children in hospital.

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