We provide bespoke training to support Community Reading Workers to proactively engage with communities.
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Bespoke induction training for Community Reading Workers has been commissioned by Ann Cleeves and developed and delivered by Opening the Book to facilitate conversations about the unique role and how to maximise engagement with people and communities the project aims to reach. 

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New Reading for Wellbeing course available from February 2024

Opening the Book has been commissioned by Ann Cleeves to work with the Reading for Wellbeing team to create online training for the next phase of the project.

The new course has been specially created as an induction for new Reading for Wellbeing workers, wherever they are based and whether they are working part-time or full-time for the project.

Module 1: Getting people reading 

This module will be taken by all new workers to give a grounding in the unique approach of this project.  It will help to develop your understanding, skills and confidence in how reading for pleasure can help wellbeing. You will learn how to listen to different needs and offer reading connections. You will practise talking about reading with people who read and those who don’t think of themselves as readers. You will keep to Ann Cleeves’ vision of reading for pleasure and get to feel comfortable in your new role as part of a bigger Reading for Wellbeing movement.

Module 2: Building your resources 

This module comes in two versions and you choose the one which is most relevant to your situation. Community-based is for workers who are undertaking outreach in a variety of community settings. Library-based is for public library staff who will work mostly inside a public library building.

This module will help you explore the range of reading experiences that you might offer. You will learn about a wide range of books, audio, graphics, poems and stories for both adults and children and think about what you want to take with you when you meet people.  Community-based workers will create a capsule collection for their specific work situation. Library-based workers will prepare what they might use in the library for a drop-in session or an individual referral.  

Support and assessment

You will complete a set task online in each module and engage in online discussion about your work with your Opening the Book Mentor. Your Mentor may ask you to do something further or make more suggestions. Once your Mentor is satisfied that you have reached the required level of understanding and competence, you will receive a Certificate for each module you complete.

Time commitment

Module 1 will prompt your own reflections and ask you to try things out with people you know (family, friends, colleagues) before you start working with people you don’t know. How long you spend on this will be up to you, but you should allow a minimum of 4 hours for work online – this can be taken in bites as and when you like.

Module 2 requires you to try out interactive exercises online and then do some online or in-library research to create your specific collection. Again, this will vary according to your own interest and time availability, but you should allow the equivalent of 2-3 days in total, taken as and when you like.

Book a place

The new course will be available from 1 February 2024 – email Jane Hartley at to book a place.  Support from Ann Cleeves and Opening the Book means places are free to workers in the north-east.


Working with Volunteers:

We will also provide access to a skills development session on working with volunteers for those engaging and supporting community volunteers in Reading for Wellbeing.


Opening the Book training courses

Opening the Book is the leading provider of courses in promoting reading for pleasure for staff working in public and school libraries. More than 20,000 people have taken our courses across 5 continents.  We have developed our own training platform which is simple to use and also easy on the eye.  This is not tick-box learning; every course has been tested with real people in real work situations.

Our courses feel personal as we speak directly to you. We hope that everyone who takes one of our courses comes away with some really good ideas and new ways to approach their work. You will need to keep an open mind and be prepared to think about what is possible. There is space in every course for you to reflect on what you learn and connect it with your own situation.

Reading for Wellbeing group
A woman and two children enjoy reading together

The original Reading for Wellbeing course

Nine Community Reading Workers took the original Reading for Wellbeing course in 2021. With their help and feedback, the new Level 2 course will be shorter and sharper but will aim to deliver the same outcomes of:

  • Understanding Ann Cleeves’ vision for Reading for Wellbeing and how it differs from illness-based work
  • Increasing confidence in the role and the individual’s ability to deliver it
  • Supporting workers to develop the resources they need for each situation 

Feedback from our Community Reading Workers

Accessing Training

Contact us if you would like to discuss Reading for Wellbeing training for existing or new staff.