So … the Government have launched a library scheme to support dementia sufferers; from February, GPs and health professionals will be able to “recommend a selection of 25 approved books for people with dementia or their carers.” http://www.thebookseller.com/news/library-scheme-support-dementia-sufferers
This is a fantastic project. It is already well documented that reading can improve your health and well-being so targeting specific health problems this way makes sense, especially as the organisers have said that this is a cost-effective way of delivering community care and support. I personally know how valuable it can be to have access to books to help explain various health matters.
As a school librarian I’m used to departments not being aware of what others are studying. That’s why the librarian is in a unique position as we are usually the only person in the whole school with an overview of the curriculum – which means we can ensure our resources get as much use as possible and departments don’t have to waste their budgets purchasing duplicate stock. We can see that the books purchased for use by History can also be used in English or that those selected for a Geography topic will also be useful in Science.
But what amazes me about this launch is that Norman Lamb, Minister of State for care and support, and Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for culture and the digital economy, were both there. Now the former could be excused for not being aware of the current situation regarding the mass closure of libraries with the handing over of many others to volunteers but Mr Vaizey has no excuse. Libraries are his remit, he is fully aware of the devastation of the public library system that is occurring throughout the country because he refuses to do anything about it. He knows that the structure for delivering this scheme is probably non-existent.
So I’d like to ask …
How is this library scheme to support dementia sufferers meant to work when there are no libraries to run it?