Libraries rise to the challenge 

Waipā’s community librarians have been working with rest homes on a dementia friendly programme as part of their activities during lockdown.

Switching to online and digital support has resulted in added challenges for librarians, said Strategic Partnerships manager Gary Knight.
Library users, desperate for knowledge, have switched to engaging with librarians online.

“The team are working through the Dementia Friendly Recognition programme and developing protocols and processes to enable the libraries to be more demential friendly,” said Knight.

This includes a programme of dementia-friendly books and activities with the resources intended to be taken out to care and rest homes.

“Already staff are working in care and rest homes to read to the residents. The new dementia friendly books are designed and worded to be understood by dementia sufferers.”

The Waipā Library website has also benefitted from librarians’ spare time. A local history section has been developed and material is being created for this to go live.

There is enough content on the page once published for the community to access the information, said Knight.

Both district libraries in Cambridge and Te Awamutu have received funding from the New Zealand Libraries Partnership Programme.

The Government granted the National Library $58.8 million to lead and support COVID-19 recovery work across New Zealand’s library system, especially in public libraries.

The support for librarians and library services in Waipā resulted in $10,000 for the purchase of children and teenagers E-books and another $405 for librarians to have personal protection equipment, Knight told the committee.

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