Two members of ASCLA’s Alzheimer’s & Related Dementias Interest Group (IGARD), Karen Maki and Mary Beth Riedner, are part of the team of librarians who were awarded the 2014 Jean Williams Sayre Innovation Award by the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA).  This award “recognizes individuals, groups, libraries or organizations for their creative approaches to the delivery and management of health information. “


The award was given to a team of librarians affiliated with the Gail Borden Public Library District in  Elgin, IL who developed an innovative book and reading program to reconnect people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other dementias to library materials.  Called Tales & Travel, the program takes people living in memory care facilities on a monthly imaginary trip to another country or part of the US.   The program engages participants in activities such as reading out loud, browsing through books and joining in conversation with library staff/volunteers.


A Web page has been developed that provides resources for anyone who might want to replicate the Tales & Travel program –   There you can:

  • see a video of the program in action
  • find detailed “Excursion Guides” to twelve destinations
  • download free logos and other graphics

IGARD is currently developing guidelines for library services to people with dementia.  The Interest Group is actively seeking new members to join in this worthy endeavor.  Please consider joining IGARD to help return the joys of books and reading to this too often forgotten population.