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Spotlight on Hamilton Public Library

Posted by Karen Thompson on

How many community members do you serve?

Hamilton Public Library's 22 branches, two Bookmobiles and robust online services serve the region's 550k residents, students and commuters. We also serve residents in neighbouring communities by honouring reciprocal library cards.

What kinds of programs do you offer at the Hamilton Public Library?

Our programs fulfill the City of Hamilton's mandate; to be the best place to raise a child and age successfully. We offer programs for all stages of life — from early childhood literacy programs, to tween and teen education and volunteerism, to adult and older adult programming, as well as events and concerts that encourage lifelong learning and civic engagement. HPL cards give residents free access to eight Civic Museums. Our Local History & Archives preserve Hamilton's past. We also contribute to the success of newcomers  at a dedicated Learning Centre. Finally, our innovative Makerspaces are an outlet for entrepreneurs, artists and engineers alike. 

What initiatives have you taken to become dementia-friendly?

We ensure our spaces are easy to navigate and our language is respectful, easily-understood and supportive. HPL's Adult Programming staff are trained by the Alzheimer Society and all HPL staff receive ongoing training through online learning and training portals. HPL's collections and programs further support our customers with dementia. Among them are Memory Cafés for those with cognitive issues, as well as their caregivers and Memory Bags containing Marlena Books and materials, puzzles and more memory exercises.

Where are dementia-friendly books placed in the library?

Our collection includes dementia-friendly books and materials. These are promoted in-branch and on social media. They are available for loan across the system. These are also available in the community through our Visiting Library Service, for those who can't make it to the Library.

Why is being dementia-friendly important to you?

Dementia-friendly design is universal design. If we meet the needs of those with memory issues and their caregivers, we're meeting the needs of others - their friends, family and neighbours - in the community. We work to ensure that all Hamilton residents and visitors feel welcome, understood, respected and supported. 

Is there anything else you would like to share about dementia-friendly books and initiatives?

Interestingly, our Newcomer Learning Centre staff report that the dementia-friendly materials are also valuable as newcomer learning materials. These materials make it easier to learn a new language, understand local customs and connect using adult-oriented resources.

Are there any resources you would like to share about the Hamilton Public Library?

As libraries become a community's living room, it's imperative that we connect with and support our neighbours, at every stage of life. HPL serves as the access point for so many social and civic needs. From events and programs, to entertainment and social services, we have a strong role to play in the wellbeing of our residents and visitors. We look forward to continuing to evolve and innovate.  


For more information on the Hamilton Public Library, follow this link to visit their website.

Follow the Hamilton Public Library on social media!

Facebook: @hamiltonpubliclibrary

Twitter: @hamiltonlibrary

Instagram: @hamiltonlibrary

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