East Dunbartonshire Libraries celebrates partnership with Alzheimer Scotland to create new dementia information hubs

Friday, 2 June, 2023

exterior of bishopbriggs library
East Dunbartonshire Libraries have been declared dementia information hubs in a new partnership with Alzheimer Scotland.

All eight libraries in the area will have information leaflets offering further sources of information and support and all computers have links to the charity’s Brain Health checker.

Staff at the larger libraries have also undertaken training to support them to engage positively with people living with dementia and other memory loss.

This new partnership complements, and adds value to, the work East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust’s Learning and Access Co-ordinator’s are already delivering with the Memories Scotland Memory Groups reminiscence project. .

Jim Neill, Chair of East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, said, “This partnership with Alzheimer Scotland demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our libraries are a welcoming place for everyone.

“Libraries play an important role in our communities and by becoming a dementia information hub our staff can not only provide information direct from Alzheimer Scotland but are ensuring the libraries are a safe space for anyone affected by dementia.”

The initiative will see over 120 libraries across Scotland become dementia information hubs.

These libraries will have close relationships with their nearest Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Resource Centre, display and share a wide range of Alzheimer Scotland dementia information materials, and support library users to access online dementia and brain health resources (such as Brain Health Scotland).

Staff in those libraries have undertaken Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Friends Scotland programme, to help them better understand the day-to-day challenges of living with dementia and support for people with dementia to fully use the library’s resources.

The new partnership covers the Scottish Libraries & Information Council, the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, Alzheimer Scotland and pathfinder libraries in East Dunbartonshire, Stirling, Aberdeenshire, Glasgow, Fife, North Ayrshire, Inverclyde, the Lothians, and Renfrewshire.

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of the Scottish Library & Information Council, said:

“The Scottish Library & Information Council is proud to partner with Alzheimer Scotland on this fantastic initiative. It builds on dementia support programmes delivered through Scotland’s public libraries, such as the Memories Scotland Memory Groups and Dementia Friendly accreditation which many public libraries have now received.

“Libraries offer a calm, welcoming and safe haven for anyone looking for respite, support and information about dementia. Furthermore, library event programmes include Dementia Friendly film screenings, chatty cafes and reminiscence groups. Our public libraries play a crucial role tackling this very real problem and they also offer a wide range of information, both on site, online and through quality-assured reading lists.”

Kirsty Stewart, Executive Lead for Stakeholder Engagement at Alzheimer Scotland, said:

“It’s wonderful to see so many community libraries commit to being local dementia information hubs. I am inspired by how the partnership has really embraced learning about dementia; by educating themselves, providing information, creating links with local Alzheimer Scotland supports and ensuring their community spaces are welcoming for anyone living with dementia or worried about their memory.

“Libraries are a vital resource for so many people and with 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland, this partnership is another important step to making sure nobody faces dementia alone. Dementia is just one thing about a person – it’s not everything.  I am delighted to see so many libraries hold their own Tea & Blether events to celebrate this partnership and I look forward to seeing what else we can achieve together, over the coming year.”