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Books on Prescription: Home

Details of our Books on Prescription collection - here to support the teaching and learning of students in health professions, and for the well-being of the wider University community.

Using this guide

Books on Prescription logoUse this guide to:

  • find out about bibliotherapy
  • learn about the Books on Prescription programme
  • explore the collection held at the University of Otago Medical Library
  • recommend a book to a patient

About the programme

WellSouth Primary Health Network and participating public libraries in the Otago, Central, Waitaki and Southland areas have joined together to offer the Books on Prescription programme.

"The scheme involves a GP or other health professional, prescribing a book that addresses a particular problem which is available from your local library. Select from a list of high quality self-help books that have been specially selected by experienced mental health practitioners."

Find out more about the programme and how it's administered.

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Why we are involved

At the University of Otago Medical Library we have a collection of these books for two purposes:

1.   To supplement teaching and learning

Students, you may encounter the Books on Prescription programme when you are on general practice run, psychiatry run, rural placement, or when you are working as a Trainee Intern or on a clinical placement.

You may also hear about Books on Prescription or bibliotherapy in Heathcare in the Community, Behavioural Medicine classes. 

These books are also available to all staff and students of the University, whether or not they have been prescribed a title by their GP. Members of the public can be referred to the collections at their local public library.

2.   For the wellbeing of our University community

Students and staff of the University are welcome to borrow these books any time. 

You may be directed to the collection by your GP or through Student Health, Disability Information & Support, University Chaplins, Employee Assistance Programme or Mediation


Prescribing a book

GPs and Allied Health staff can use this guide to help with their prescribing choices. Please read the handout (attached PDF) to find out how to use this guide when prescribing a book from our collection.

Dunedin Public Libraries

Dunedin Public Libraries is our closest public library that is part of the Books on Prescription scheme. Your patients can borrow books you prescribe here. If your patient is a member of staff or students at the University of Otago, they may utilise this collection.

Dunedin Public Libraries also has a great collection of public focused health topics available in it's collection and on it's website.

Suggesting new titles


Feel free to send recommendations of titles for the Books on Prescription programme through to Richard German - we can forward these on to the WellSouth Primary Health Network for evaluation.

Reviewing titles

If you are interested in being available as a clinical reviewer of suggested books for the programme, please complete this review form.