The Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Interest Group (IGARD) of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) Division of the American Library Association (ALA) successfully presented a poster at the IFLA WLIC 2016 which was held in Columbus, Ohio from Aug. 13-19, 2016. The poster was entitled “Reconnecting Persons with Dementia to their Libraries: Using Library Materials to Improve the Quality of Life for People Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias”. Approximately 3,100 people from 137 countries visited the Congress.The IGARD poster was one of 203 posters displayed for three days (Aug. 15-17, 2016) within the Exhibition Hall. This location near the vendors ensured high visibility among attendees. During two, two-hour sessions on Aug. 15 and Aug. 16, Mary Beth Riedner and IGARD member Erik Johansen chatted about the poster with many interested parties. Over 125 printed handouts were distributed to those who wanted additional information. The poster can be found here: http://library.ifla.org/1574/.
This post is on behalf of Karen Maki, deputy director at Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, Ill. and Mary Beth Riedner, university librarian (retired), Roosevelt University, Chicago, Ill. If you have questions about this new interest group petition, please contact Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Beth (email@example.com).
Please consider signing the e-petition for a new ASCLA Interest Group: “Serving Those with Alzheimer’s & Related
Dementias”. Signers must be current ASCLA members who agree to participate in the group. The e-petition can be found at
This Interest Group would focus on creating, disseminating and implementing guidelines for library services to people with Alzheimer’s and related
dementias. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has already established such guidelines and they can readily be adapted for use in the United States.
Every library is currently being affected by this growing population in their communities. Already one in eight Americans aged 65 and over has Alzheimer’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association and this number will grow as the Baby Boomer generation ages. There are many related dementias in addition to Alzheimer’s and those often affect people in their 40’s and 50’s. American librarians need to recognize and prepare for the growing number of people with dementia who can still greatly benefit from library resources, especially in the early and mid stages of their disease.
During the first year, this interest group would meet virtually to review and revise the IFLA Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dementia. Interested libraries could begin pilot projects to reach out to this community of users who should not be forgotten. Proposals can be developed for upcoming ALA conferences.
Thank you for seriously considering participating in this Interest Group and signing the e-petition.