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Sefton Library Service

Sefton Library Service delivers it services through a network of six libraries across the borough. Three libraries are co-located, two libraries within leisure centres and one library within The Atkinson, a multi-functional cultural space. Sefton Library Service aims to provide a positive relevant and proactive service to all its users, whether young or old, meeting their ever changing needs for reading, information, learning and leisure activities. WiFi is available in all our buildings as well as public computers providing free access to the internet. Libraries provide attractive and safe places to meet and provide a range of activities from reading groups, and IT workshops to adult education classes. Libraries play a significant role in providing information and signposting to specific agencies. We hold specific collections of material, such as the Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme designed to help people living with common mental health problems and dementia.

19 October 2016
North West
Local Authorities, Recreation, Arts, Children Young People and Students, Clinical Commissioning Group, Community organisations, Education Sector, Health
Local Alliances:
Sefton DAA

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?

Sefton Libraries recognise the importance of creating a dementia friendly community, within each of our library venues.   Although we pride ourselves on the customer care skills of library staff, and our volunteers, there’s always room for improvement.  We currenlty have two Dementia Friends Champions, who have delivered Dementia Friends awareness sessions to all our staff. As new staff join the organisation they will be encouraged to become Dementia Friends. A further aim is to deliver Dementia Friends sesssion to volunteers. This is especially important for our Home Visits volunteers, a  large percentage of the Home Visits Service users  are elderly, and volunteers, given the right training,  are ideally placed to note changes in their behaviour which might indicate the onset of dementia.

The library will continue to participate in the Reading Well Books on Prescription schemes, providing specially selected books to people with dementia and their carers. We will also continue to develop schemes which expand the ‘library offer’ to people living with dementia and the families.

Libraries will continue to grow the Sefton's Lost Voices project, which gives people in the early stages of memory loss the chance to record their oral histories. Volunteers  have been trained by Sefton Library Service to interview people, this can take place in the comfort of a person's home or at a local community venue. The interviewee recieves a copy which they can share with famly and friends, a copy is also retained by Sefton Libraries. This copy will be store in the library archive for use by school children or students studying social history.

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

All library staff have attended Dementia Awareness training, provided by Liverpool Museum, and we ensure that all new library staff and volunteers attend awareness sessions as and went available. Two members of library staff are Dementia Friends Champions. Our champions have hosted Dementia Friends awareness sessions for library staff, currently all our staff are Dementia Friends. The next stage is to train our volunteers. The financial constraints on local councils will have to be taken into consideration, as well as time constraints on volunteers. We do anticipate volunteers will be keen to engage with any training on offer, as this will help them to be familiar with situations where service users display symptoms of memory loss, and have trouble communicating clearly or seem confused by situations.

We will continue to work with our colleagues in corporate communications and the wider dementia community to raise awareness that libraries are a part of the dementia friendly community.  This is part of a general awareness raising about library services available for people living with dementia and their families.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Lost Voices Programme – For people in the early stages of memory loss.

    Sefton Libraries are currently piloting a new project, recording the memories of people who are in the early stages of memory loss. It is hoped that the recordings will be used by the person and the family as an ‘aide-memoir’ to trigger conversations and re-connect family and friends. The recording will also act as a keepsake, once the person is lost to the family.

    The library also intends to keep a second set of recordings which will be kept in Sefton Libraries’ archive; these could prove to be an invaluable tool for school children and students studying social history.  We are working towards establishing this programme as a core part of service on offer to people living with dementia and their families.  


    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    New member

  • Extend the use of Memory Boxes and reminiscence training

    Sefton Library Service currently have  eight memory boxes and ten reminiscence packs, available to carers, care homes and memory loss  groups, free of charge. The memory boxes are quite large containing photos, news clippings, posters and artefacts linked to a specific subject. The reminiscence packs are smaller and contain photos, news clippings and an oral history, all focus on a particular theme. The packs can be used to stimulate and support reminiscence

    We would like to see an increase of the usage of the boxes and packs, particularly by care homes and memory loss groups. To do this we will need to raise awareness amongst the care community about the availability of the boxes, and how they can be used.

    Initial Scoping

    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    New member

  • Train our remaining staff & volunteers – via dementia Awareness training available at Liverpool Museum

    We will work towards all library staff being offered the opportunity to attend Dementia Awareness training, in the next 12 months. This offer will be extended to library volunteers, concentrating on Home Visit and Lost voices volunteers in the first instance. We feel that it is particularly important to offer training for our volunteers, as this will help them to be familiar with situations where home visits recipients display symptoms of memory loss, and  have trouble communicating clearly or seem confused by situations. It will also help identify situations where support from other agencies might be appropriate.


    2015 - Third Quarter Update

    New member