Solihull Public Library Service is committed to providing a service which is open and accessible to all.
There are 13 libraries spread across the Borough, a home library service for residents unable to get to a library for themselves, as well as a Local History and Archive Service. Libraries offer a range of services, which includes free wi-fi internet and an e-book scheme.
Some key health offers:
Dementia Awareness in Libraries:
As a commitment to improving the quality of life for dementia sufferers and their carers the Arts and Libraries service have been working with partners to:
- Increase the understanding of the condition within the community.
- Promote the support available for sufferers and their network of family and friends
- Raise understanding of the condition amongst staff, library stakeholders and volunteers.
There have been regular Dementia Friends events and a partnership with Public health and the CCG has lead to an increase in dementia resources being made available
In June, Chelmsley Wood and Hobs Moat Libraries celebrated the launch of their new Health Hub Facilities in partnership with Public Health and Health Exchange. The new dedicated area in each library has enabled residents to have health checks carried out, access information or advice and training on progress towards their own personal health goals or managing existing health conditions. A Blood Pressure/Weight/BMI machine along with a touchscreen kiosk has been installed for use and a programme of self-organised groups is promoted.
Library Extended Opening:
In January 2015 the doors of Marston Green opened to the public for an additional 3 hours per week each Wednesday. This extended library offer provides an opportunity for Adult Social Care service users with learning disabilities to gain work experience and develop valuable skills.
Books On Prescription:
Reading Well Books on Prescription is a library based service that helps people manage their health through evidence based self-help in anxiety, depression, self-esteem and stress. In Solihull, collections are based at Chelmsley Wood, Central and Hobs Moat. In Feb 2015 the collection was extended to include specific titles on dementia.
The number of Reading Well Books on Prescription books issued for the period April ‘14- April ‘15 was 1165. The highest issuing titles are, How to Stop Worrying, Overcoming Low Self Esteem and Mind Over Mood.
Help for her sister who has visual impairment:
A member of the public queried the use of the magnifier at Knowle Library as her sister was visually impaired and needed to read some legal documents. We contacted the person concerned and arranged that she would have privacy in order to read the documents, showing her how to use the magnifier. We then contacted her again when The Visual Impairment Team were visiting the library to see if they would be able to offer her any more advice and support. The lady arranged for a relative to bring her into the library and was very pleased that we had remembered her.
Support for carer whose husband has dementia:
A lady came in to Knowle library with her husband who suffers from Dementia and asked a member of staff if any help was available to her as she felt quire isolated. The staff member suggested she try attending a Dementia Café and gave her the details. The lady came back in the next week and thanked the member of staff for her help and support as she had found attending the café a great help and would continue to attend whenever possible.
Help with mild depression:
A gentleman came in to Dickens Heath explained the situation and asked if there were any books which might help him. A member of staff found the gentleman a book that had been recommended to her. He was also offered referral advice to other organisations that may help him and shown books on prescription. The gentleman came back in to say how helpful the staff member had been and how helpful he had found the book and would like to recommend it to other people.
Dad who is a carer – learn children rhymes and action before birth of child:
A young man came to our new Daddy Rhymetime Session for babies and toddlers. The information about the session was given to him on a visit to Solihull Hosptial via the antenatal appointment he attended with his wife. He was not local to the community and rang ahead for details of our location, on arrival a member of staff explained what Daddy Rhymetime was about, took him into the children’s area pointing out the various services which were on offer and gave him a selection of the nursery rhymes that would be used on the session. He also recapped popular rhymes and actions he could remember. He expressed his thanks and said “I’m glad I found something for the Dads”. Library service has reached out to resident of neighbouring authority. The parent in question received resources to help him bond and develop his own special relationship with his child. The parent is also looking forward to meeting with other male carers when he returns to the session with his new child.
Support for customer whose wife has dementia:
During the monthly poetry session a gentleman came in half way through the session. He used to attend the sessions on a regular basis but had not been for some months and he told the group that he could not attend any more as his wife had developed dementia and he was her carer. He said that he had made the excuse to his wife that he was going to the bank so that he could come along to the poetry group, as it was very difficult for him to leave her. He asked the group if it would be alright for him to read out a poem that he had written on National Poetry Day called ‘The Dementia Carer’ – the group found his poem very moving and suggested that he put the poem on the Dementia Friends website to support others. The staff member referred him to the Dementia Friends website and suggested that if there were any Dementia Friends sessions being held at the library, he could be contacted to see if he may wish to attend. The outcome was that the gentleman said he felt supported by the poetry group and the staff member and will continue to take part in the poetry group whenever possible.