New Course Announcement with ALIA

We are thrilled to announce the release of our new course here at Bibliotherapy Australia, developed for the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) titled Bibiotherapy Basics.

Bibliotherapy Basics is an introductory course for library and information service professionals interested in building their understanding and skills in bibliotherapy. This course empowers participants to:

  • run small group programs for community members, or members of an educational institution
  • facilitate customer-facing staff in supporting their own wellbeing
  • support student and teacher wellbeing frameworks
  • enhance reading recommendations to support and improve community wellbeing.

Dr Susan McLaine, Director of Bibliotherapy Australia and a leading authority on bibliotherapy, with 18 years of research, training and practitioner roles, including a significant role in a globally recognised library, developed this wellbeing-focused course.

Bibliotherapy Basics is an immersive experiential course delivered over distinct levels, with individual-level activities building on each other. Each level needs to be completed to move on to the next level. Learning outcomes are guided by experiential activities and experiences rather than didactic teaching. An introductory theoretical reading list is provided for participants’ further development.

The course will guide you to learn through experience and then apply the learnings to the audience you wish to focus on. The same skills and principles can be applied to individual and group participants across all ages: children, youth and adults in public libraries and primary school, high school and tertiary libraries.

Building skills in bibliotherapy furthers the mission of libraries as social institutions, playing an educative and wellbeing role as part of libraries’ Sustainable Development Goals 2020-2030. Many public and school libraries provide bibliotherapy through specially developed health and wellbeing nonfiction titles as part of their collections and, in some cases, as part of a Books on Prescription scheme.

When Susan was developing the course, she visited different libraries across the sector to meet with professionals and discuss how best to support and integrate bibliotherapy. Increasing knowledge and understanding in bibliotherapy opens up many possibilities as a creative way to support wellbeing and address loneliness. Now more than ever, libraries can support their diverse communities’ wellbeing by developing an understanding of bibliotherapy’s wellbeing intention, and the techniques used to deliver bibliotherapy.

Above is Rosie the Westie – official Head of Pats and Cuddles – providing her reading recommendations and spreading wellbeing support at one of the school libraries visited.

Bibliotherapy Basics begins 4 June 2024, however registrations are currently at capacity. If you would like to be placed on a waitlist please email

Further online training opportunities

The three day face-to-face advanced course Building Bibliotherapy Skills will be offered for the first time online later in 2024. If you would like to take part in this inaugural online offering email 

To read reviews from training course attendees please visit here

If you would like information on all of our courses, or to register for our next training event please click here

If you would like to be in contact to share your bibliotherapy experiences and love of stories and books, please email Dr Susan McLaine at

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