States of Jersey Library Service

The States of Jersey Library Sevice provides many resources that can support families, carers and people who are living with dementia.

The Living Well Books on Prescription for Dementia Scheme

Books on Prescription is a beautifully simple idea that helps signpost the way to useful books.

The scheme grew from the Reading Well Books on Prescription initiative which aimed to support adults with mild to moderate psychological illnesses and is currently delivered by over 96% of UK Library authorities. The initial Books on Prescription Scheme has proved to be very successful. 

Charles Alessi, Dementia Lead for Public Health England is on the record as saying:

'Books on Prescription is of immense value. The way people are empowered is through credible, validated information. This is a mechanism for changing their situation and putting them in a better position to manage their dementia.'

The Books on Prescription for Dementia project has been created by The Reading Agency which worked with dementia healthcare experts, people living with dementia and carer groups to select a list of 25 titles that provide support and advice for people living with dementia and their families.

The books on the list are available to borrow from the Town Library, Les Quennevais Branch & the Mobile Library, thanks to financial support from HSSD. 

Jersey Alzheimer's Association is partnering the Library Service and Memory Clinic in this project.

GP and healthcare workers have been sent information about the scheme and if they feel it appropriate, they may 'prescribe' a patient or family member one of the titles.

The books are kept on the open shelves in the libraries and are available to borrow whether or not you have a prescription.  The Library Service believes that, given that these are nationally recognised titles, they should be available to borrow for anyone who will find them useful.

The list includes some activity-based titles, like 'Chocolate Rain' which provides simple activities you could do together at home or in a larger group in a residential care environment and also sparks ideas and prompts questions you might ask.

Library Membership

All you need to borrow one of these books for free is a Library card.  If you aren't already a member of the Library it's free to join.  You are normally asked to provide proof of ID and an official proof of address.  If you bring in a GP's Book on Prescription form the Library will accept that as proof of ID.

Dementia Aware Staff

Michala Graham has delivered dementia awareness training to all of the Library staff. 

Reminiscence Groups

A service that the Library is keen to develop alongside the Book Prescription Scheme is reminiscence groups. Evidence suggests that social reading activity can promote well-being, combat isolation and bring people together in supportive communities. 

The Library has a community meeting room in the Town Library which is an ideal venue for small group meetings. Meetings in this room which are for the benefit of members of the public are free and open to all.

Other Resources

The Library has resources that can help spark conversation in reminiscence sessions such as the beautiful 'Picture to Share' books.

Based around themes they include a wide selection of powerful, colourful and attractive images and text so there is usually something to engage anyone who enjoys reading or pictures.

There is also a fantastic collection of local pictures in the Library, which the librarians collect into packs, specifically designed to spark discussion and debate.

There is an extensive collection of large print titles and a video magnifier in the Town Library which can be very useful for enlarging the text on letters and prescriptions.

A number of titles are available as audio books, on CD and cassettes and there is a growing collection of ebooks, audio books and magazines for download from the Library's website. 

House and Homes Deliveries

If you are unable to visit the Library due to health or mobility problems the Library will bring the books to you.

Contact Jersey Library: 01534 448700 and they will arrange for a member of staff to visit you. They'll explain more about the service, discuss with you the types of books you enjoy reading and arrange monthly visits to bring you books, audio CDs or tapes.

Future Work

Libraries across the UK are developing a base-line 'Health Offer', including the books on prescription schemes, house and homes services, information signposting and providing non-clinical spaces for drop-in groups and workshops.

Ideas for the future include developing collections that can be accessed by a wider range of people including less confident readers or for whom English is a second language, more audiobooks, e-books available for e-lending and books in different languages, further exploring the role of digital information and developing stronger links with other creative and cultural partners, for example with work in museums around dementia.

For further information please contact

Jersey Library
Halkett Place
St Helier

Tel: 01534 448700 / E-mail:


The opening hours for the main Library are:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 9.30am - 5.30pm;
Tuesday: 9.30am - 7.30pm;
Saturday: 9.30am - 4pm



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Did you know?

The number of people with dementia is increasing rapidly. It is estimated that there are currently 1,400 people in Jersey living with dementia, many of whom have not as yet obtained a formal diagnosis; this number is set to double over the next 25 years.