South Australian dementia-friendly library creates a welcoming space for all

Port Lincoln Library was recently formally recognised as ‘Working Towards Becoming Dementia Friendly’ in acknowledgement of their on-going commitment for supporting people living with dementia.

The Healthy Brain Hub specialised collection provides a range of resources for people with dementia, their families and carers and promotes wellbeing in a positive environment for people with dementia.

After an environmental review in collaboration with people with a living experience of dementia, the library adopted more dementia-friendly initiatives.

This included custom built dementia-friendly furniture such as chairs with contrasting colours for the seat and backrest.

Library staff have become Dementia Friends and some have even completed further training in relation to dementia to support the inclusiveness of the library environment.

People living with dementia and their families are also being invited to attend informal Dementia Friends Cuppa and Catch-Up sessions as an opportunity for social engagement and to help create a network of supportive and understanding people.

Library Operations Manager Louise Mrdjen said the initiatives the library undertook to become more dementia-friendly helped staff as well as the community they serve.

“Library staff report that they have been refreshed in their views, enlightened and reminded that the Library service - when developed through a universal lens - can better respond to the broader community while serving the individual,” Louise said.

“Being dementia-friendly gives us all a better understanding of providing a compassionate, innovative and responsive service.

“The Port Lincoln Library celebrates what has been achieved already and looks forward to future planning, ensuring continued progress in being dementia-friendly and providing a dementia-friendly environment.”

Are you interested in what this could look like in your community?

The first step is to become a Dementia Friend. Find out more at or call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.