Bibliotherapy with State Library Victoria

I have some exciting news to share! I have been working on a series of free bibliotherapy podcasts for State Library Victoria.

On Saturday State Library Victoria launch a new podcast series, Bibliotherapy with State Library Victoria. Each episode will focus on a different feeling or experience to use the healing power of literature to nourish and comfort us during this challenging time. In this 9-part series, I will read and speak to selected literary texts and poems that focus on different aspects of wellbeing, using a facilitated self-reflective approach. If you have friends or family you think would benefit from these free podcasts, please invite them to subscribe and, of course, I do hope you will listen for yourself.

You can find it on podcast apps – just search ‘Bibliotherapy with State Library Victoria’ and links are provided below.


Apple Podcasts



Bibliotherapy and libraries

There are strong links between bibliotherapy and libraries. The concept of bibliotherapy dates back to 300 BC, when ancient civilisations placed inscriptions over library entrances stating that within the building was healing for the soul. The early connection to libraries is even traced to William Shakespeare’s tragedy Titus Andronicus, in which Titus says ‘Come and take choice of all my library, And so beguile they sorrow…’


Bibliotherapy in INCITE March 2015, volume 36, issue 3, pp. 24-25.

Beyond Blue – improving the wellbeing of older people

Great to see bibliotherapy recognised in the new Beyond Blue booklet showing what works to improve the wellbeing of older people.

Full booklet available here:

Full bibliotherapy paper available here:

Click to access Susan_McLaine.pdf

2014 AHI Creative Ideas Convention

Words That Heal was recently in Sydney to present, be inspired and have fun at the 2014 Arts Health Institute Creative Ideas Convention, held at Luna Park Sydney 24-25 November. What an inspiring two days about engaging and connecting through creative arts. Thank you Arts Health Institute for the opportunity to present on creative bibliotherapy.

There was even free rides at lunch time for some additional Wild Mouse roller coaster pulse-pounding therapy!

Here is a great video from the convention, talking about the importance of creativity, connection and imagination in healing

Luna Park SydneyoWild Mouse

NSW Public Libraries conference Mudgee November 2014

NSW PL conference 2014

Me in the middle with Debbie Hicks from the UK’s Reading Agency (R) and Jan Richards Manager Central West Libraries  (L).

Thank you NSW PL conference committee for the opportunity to speak on ‘Books, Community and Wellbeing’

Conference highlight – meeting Debbie Hicks

NSW Public Libraries Conference 2014: Libraries & Community Wellbeing. Two full days of fabulous speakers and interesting presentations, including:

Debbie Hicks on Books on Prescription in the UK. Amazing work – over 7000 prescribing partners.

Bernard Salt on literacy and population

Jens Nordentoft with the four room model of public libraries in Denmark

Social media and community engagement by Mylee Joseph

Michael Caulfield – Australians at War – documenting personal stories

Tony Coggins asking can money buy happiness?

and another highlight – the Mudgee red wine …