Alpha Park Public Library was selected as one of two winners for the 2022 RUSA Stephen T. Riedner Grant for Life Enhancing Library Programs for People Living with Dementia to support the creation and development of services and programming to serve those living with dementia and other conditions affecting the brain. With this funding, the library has established a designated area in the library with a variety of resources, including books, games, puzzles, and more, available for patrons and caregivers to enjoy in the library or check out to take home.
The grant was established in memory of Stephen T. Riedner by his wife, Mary Beth Riedner, and his sister-in law and brother-in-law, Jane and John Gallick.
During his ten-year journey through a young-onset dementia, Steve's strong spirit was always an inspiration. He was determined to maintain his identity, dignity and independence for as long as possible. He demonstrated by his example that people living with dementia deserve the same respect and consideration as every other human being.
Motivated by his courage, Mary Beth, a retired librarian, began to encourage libraries to expand their services to these often stigmatized and neglected people. She is also the founder of “Tales & Travel Memories” and “Tales & Travel Adventures” which are interactive book and reading programs for people living with dementia. She has presented at many conferences and has written several journal articles and book chapters. Making libraries, and our society as a whole, more dementia friendly has become her passion.
What Resources Can Be Found in the Brain Center?
The Brain Center at APL is designed for patrons with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson's, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other neurodivergent conditions, although anyone is welcome to use and check out these items. We have an array of tools and resources including:
- Robotic Therapy Pets
- Games & Activities
- Caregiver Guides
In the future, APL will also be hosting a caretakers’ support group. For more information on this or any of the resources available in the Brain Center, please contact our Outreach Department at 309-697-3822 x25.