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Explore York Library and Archive Mutual Ltd

Explore York Libraries and Archives delivers the public library service and city archive for the City of York Council. We run 14 libraries, a mobile library, a home library service, an archive and local history centre and 4 reading cafes, ensuring that all communities within the city are served.

23 July 2018
Yorkshire and Humber
Education Sector, Hospitality, Recreation
Local Alliances:
Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance, York 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?

Explore York Libraries and Archives provides welcoming and friendly spaces where people can borrow books, access information, research their family or local history, engage with the digital world and take part in stimulating and creative events, learning and activities.  Some of our libraries host cafes where people can meet informally. We deliver many of our services online and offer a Home Library Service for people who are unable to visit their local library. 

We participate in the Reading Agency’s Books on Prescription for Dementia initiative which we are developing further. Our Archives welcome a wide variety of visitors and support reminiscence work as part of the service and in partnership with other organisations. All of our staff have taken part in Dementia Friends training and we aim to train new staff and our volunteers as part of the induction process.

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

Our organisation serves a very wide variety of communities and individuals within the city of York. We aim to communicate and consult with all of our customers and potential customers in the development of our existing and new services. We welcome the support of specialist partner organisations to enable us to do this sensitively and effectively.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Reading Well Books on Prescription for Dementia scheme

    We are going to develop our Books on Prescription for Dementia scheme further by:-

    • Increasing the number of BOP Dementia book collections in our libraries
    • Ensuring our staff are fully engaged with the scheme and its benefits
    • Promoting the scheme to individuals and specialist organisations and their members
    • Re-engaging with health care professionals to enlist their support and advocacy for the scheme
    • Seeking feedback from customers to enable us to improve how we deliver the scheme

    Our BOP Dementia scheme is complemented by a monthly Reading in a Group’ meeting in the city centre for people with dementia and their carers run by the Alzheimer’s Society. We aim to develop more groups like this in other venues around the city in partnership with other organisations.

  • Dementia Awareness

    All of our staff took part in Dementia Friends sessions as part of our staff conference in December 2016.

    We are going to build on this positive start by organising Dementia Friends sessions for our volunteers and members of staff who have joined us in the last eighteen months.

    We will embed Dementia Friends awareness sessions in our induction process for staff and volunteers and as part of our ongoing PDP process for staff to ensure that they attend refresher sessions at regular intervals.

  • Stimulating memories: archival reminiscence through libraries

    Explore York Libraries and Archives is seeking funding to research, produce and pilot six themed reminiscence packs for people living with dementia and their families, based on items in its archive collections.  These packs would be used to develop dementia support sessions in a number of libraries across York, and would be available to nursing homes, care homes and individual residents of York to borrow through the existing lending collections and the Home Library Service.