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Shropshire Libraries

At Shropshire Libraries we: Put customers at the heart of everything we do. Encourage and enable access to informal learning. Support activities and information that improve health and well-being. Promote literacy and inspire reading. Provide welcoming community spaces that are open to all. Ensure that services give best value for money. Enable access to digital information and services. Build partnerships that place libraries at the heart of communities. Deliver and develop targeted services for those in most need. Provide services and activities to support children, young people and families.

5 March 2019
West Midlands
Local Authorities
Local Alliances:
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Shropshire Libraries offers:

Provision of Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia collections at six of our largest branches. The collections contain around thirty titles offering advice, information and suggestions for therapeutic activities for those living with dementia, their carers and their families. The books were selected by dementia specialists, including healthcare professionals and people with dementia. Public Health funding has been secured to extend provision to a further seven branches Provision of Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia book lists at all Shropshire Libraries branches and mobile libraries, together with the facility to place free reservations for any of the titles at any branch Distribution of multiple copies of the book lists and an accompanying guide for professionals to all Shropshire GP surgeries, care homes, community & care coordinators, community mental health teams, and to support workers attached to organisations such as the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, and Shropshire Rural Community Council Commitment to achieving Dementia Friends training for all Shropshire Libraries staff during 2015 Health promotion and awareness-raising activities supporting national campaigns and local priorities e.g. Dementia Awareness Week.  Shropshire Libraries works closely with county Alzheimer’s Society support workers to offer events such as pop-up dementia cafes in library branches and to offer outreach visits to memory groups and peer support groups. Branches with Health Zones offer access to Alzheimer’s Society information leaflets Time to Listen sessions open to members of the public with dementia and their carers Home Library Service provision, e-magazine and e-book loans,  enabling people living with dementia and their carers to access library services in their own homes Accessible and socially inclusive venues and services, promoting learning, leisure, reading and supporting independent living.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Budget constraints limit the ability to provide every Shropshire Libraries branch with a Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia collection Shropshire is very rural and is the largest land-locked county in England. This poses challenges in providing services and disseminating information to isolated rural communities. It also poses challenges achieving training for library staff so that we can offer effective dementia-friendly locations for those living with dementia and their families Volunteer recruitment and retention is crucial to the sustainability of services such as Home Library Service and Time To Listen and is dependent on effective promotion and training

2. Actions

  • Extension of the Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia scheme to additional Shropshire Libraries branches

    Funding was obtained from Shropshire Help2Change for seven further sets of Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia. Collections have now been added to branches in Albrighton, Shifnal, Bishop's Castle, Ellesmere, Harlescott, Wem and Bayston Hill.


    2016 - Second Quarter Update

    Books on Prescription Dementia collection 2015/16

    Total issues  176

    Borrowers 156

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    Additional Books on Prescription for Dementia collections have now been added to a further seven branches in Shropshire.

  • Ensure effective training for Shropshire Libraries staff so that a dementia-friendly welcome is guaranteed at every branch

    In order to offer dementia friendly locations, Shropshire Libraries is committed to enabling all staff to become Dementia Friends. A rolling programme of information session delivery began in January 2015 and our target of 100% completion with all staffbecoming Dementia Friends is now achieved. All new staff members are required to undertake Dementia Friends information sessions as part of their standard induction.

    Being implemented

    2019 - First Quarter Update

    Review Dementia Friend status of all library staff and address training gaps

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Three team librarians became Dementia Friends Champions  in 2017 to facilitate delivery to staff. Sessions are offered to other organisations too and have been delivered to Shropshire Councils's Community Enablement Team and to the Enable team.

    2015 - First Quarter Update

    New member

  • Extend the provision of Shared Memory Bags

    To extend the provision of Shared Memory Bags across Shropshire. Shared Memory Bags are a collection of five themed reminiscence bags for therapeutic memory activity, which can be used in a group setting or one to one. The aim is to extend and adapt the Shared Memory Bags pilot project by developing 15 more Shared Memory Bags. This increased capacity will enable us to offer this service and supply demand across the whole county.

    Being implemented

    2019 - First Quarter Update

    An additional 8 bags to be launched in 2019, including those produced in partnership with Qube, Dementia Churches and Oswestry's Welsh groups. Publicity campaign during 2019

    2017 - Fourth Quarter Update

    Another five Shared Memory Bags added to stock in October 2017 on the themes of Shopping, Spending Time Outside, Seaside, Spending Time Indoors, and Proverbs & Saying. Total number of reminiscence bags available to borrow now 15.Work to begin on an additional 5 bags.

    2017 - Second Quarter Update

    Five new memory bags added to stock in spring 2017, taking the total number of loanable reminiscence resources to 10.

    2017 - First Quarter Update

    Work nearly complete on 5 Shared Memory Bags which have been kindly funded by the Rotary Club of Oswestry. The bags are based on the following themes: Sporting Life, Pets, Travelling, Childhood Days and World of Work. Planning will now begin on an official launch for the new bags in Feb/March 2017.

    2016 - First Quarter Update

    Secured funding.