Dry January 2020

Are you up for the challenge of a month without alcohol?

Many people out there feel they drink too much, drink too often or would just like to take a break from drinking. This could be for health reasons or because you’re worried about your habits.
Whatever the reason, January is the perfect excuse to give our bodies a well deserved break, get healthier and feel better about ourselves!

This is the month to swap the martini for a cup of tea, that wine for some tea and that beer for tea, or whatever non-alcoholic drink you like.

We have some lovely, helpful, informative books to give yourself some extra support:

Mindful drinking : how cutting down can change your life

by Rosamund Dean

Ever woken up worrying that you said the wrong thing at work drinks the night before? Felt frustrated with yourself for polishing off the entire bottle of wine when youonly intended to have one glass? The emotional pull of alcohol is strong, but this book is here to help us cultivate a new, healthy and more mindful relationship with alcohol. Journalist Rosamund Dean combines scientific expertise with practical advice in a game-changing four step plan.

The unexpected joy of being sober

by Catherine Gray

Ever sworn off alcohol for January and found yourself drinkingby the 7th? Think there’s ‘no point’ in just one drink? Welcome! There are millions of us. Before embracing sobriety Catherine Gray was stuck in a hellish cycle of drink, horrible decisions and hangovers, during which she had her fair share of ‘drunk tank’ jail cells and topless-in-a-hot-tub misadventures. This inspirational, aspirational and highly relatable narrative champions the benefits of sobriety with a 3-pronged approach combining the author’s personal experience, factual reportage and contributions from expert sources and self-help advice for anyone who wants to reduce their alcohol intake or elimate it completely.

The reality checkup : finding the perfect non-perfect version of yourself

by Dr. Andrew Rochford

Everyday, men all over the world make hundreds of thousands of decisions that impact on their health, happiness and wellbeing. In many circumstances they are small, seemingly trivial decisions, but each and every one of them directly affects how a man performs in their job, in the bedroom, at the gym, and in their life. Knowing how to make the better decisions for you – without joining a fitness cult or drinking nothing but kale juice – is the trick. ‘The Reality Checkup’ is written in a conversational but authoritative tone and instantly engages the reader, encouraging them to change bad habits and adopt healthy new ones.

The 28 day alcohol-free challenge : sleep better, lose weight, boost energy, beat anxiety by Andy Ramage and Ruari Fairbairns

Be happier, healthier and more productive by taking a break from booze! An illustrated day-by-day guide packed with inspiration and practical help, this book helps you reset your drinking habits and discover a hangover-free world of quality time to achieve your goals. Drawing on their own experiences of ditching the drink, and bringing together the collective experience of the thousands of people they have helped, Andy and Ruari bring you unparalleled insight into how you can make your break from alcohol an empowering, life-changing experience.

Hello new you

by Katherine Bebo

Being healthy doesn’t have to be hard. Eating junk food, drinkingtoo much and rarely (or barely) exercising – we’ve all been there. Sometimes you just need a bit of help, some practical advice and a few words of encouragement to get yourself back on track. Intended for anyone with a busy life, this handbook gets straight to the point, gathering together useful tips, motivational quotes, and achievable steps, towards a healthier body and happier mind.

This naked mind : control alcohol, find freedom, discover happiness & change your life

by Annie Grace

Millions of people worry that drinking is affecting their health, yet are unwilling to seek change because of the misery and stigma associated with alcoholism and recovery. They fear drinking less will be boring, difficult and involve deprivation and significant lifestyle changes. ‘This Naked Mind’ offers a new solution. Packed with surprising insight into the reasons we drink, it will open your eyes to the startling role of alcohol in our culture.

Try dry : the official guide to a month off booze

by Lauren Booker

Whether you’re a Daily Tippler, a Weekender, an Unwinder or a Both Ends of the Candle-er, this book will lead you through each stage of your booze-free challenge – from ‘coming out’ to friends and family, to sober dating, setbacks, cravings, going out and staying in. Deeper sleep, reduced anxiety, improved mood, clearer skin, more energy and of course, extra cash, are just a few of a whole host of benefits to be gained from trying dry.

The alcohol experiment : 30 days to take control, cut down or give up for good

by Annie Grace

It’s YOUR body. It’s YOUR mind. It’s YOUR choice. If you’re reading this right now, you’re questioning how much you drink. Maybe you know you drink way too much and you want to quit. Or maybe you’re just curious. No matter where you are on the drinking spectrum, you’re not alone. You’re probably wondering why in the world you keep drinking, even though you’ve made a conscious decision to cut back or quit altogether. Are you sick of waking up with a hangover, having to piece together conversations and wondering if you said or did anything embarrassing? If you’ve tried to give up or moderate your alcohol consumption in the past and failed, you need to know it’s not your fault. There’s something going on that you’re probably not aware of. And once you understand it, your eyes will be opened and you’ll be able to undergo this experiment in a meaningful way.

Quit alcohol (for a month)

by Helen Foster

With over 2 million adults taking part in Dry January in 2016, not to mention Dryathlon, Stoptober, or plain old giving up the booze for Lent, more and more people are attempting a ‘dry spell’ every year. But how do you actually give up booze for more than a few days without falling off the wagon? The health benefits are obvious and if it was easy to quit we might all be teetotallers. The truth is, there are a lot of people who have trouble admitting how hard cutting out alcohol is and definitely need help to ease the transition. It’s not about willpower alone – it’s about changing habits and being ready for the multiple challenges that lie ahead.

The sober diaries : how one woman stopped drinking and started living

by Clare Pooley

Like many women, Clare Pooley found the juggle of a stressful career and family life a struggle so she left her successful role as a Managing Partner in one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies to look after her family. She knew the change wouldn’t be easy but she never expected to find herself an overweight, depressed, middle-aged mother of three who was drinking more than a bottle of wine a day, and spending her evenings Googling ‘Am I an alcoholic?’ This book is the bravely honest story of a year in Clare’s life. A year that started with her quitting booze and then being given the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. By the end of the year she is booze-free and cancer-free, she no longer has a wine belly, is two stone lighter and with a life that is so much richer, healthier and more rewarding than ever before. She has a happier family and a more positive outlook.

The 30-day sobriety solution : how to cut back or quit drinking in the privacy of your home

by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews

‘The 30-Day Sobriety Solution’ offers the answer to anyone who feels their drinking has become unmanageable. Inspired by Canfield’s work in self-esteem and success training and developed into a programme by Dave Andrews, it integrates positive psychology, neurolinguistic programming, cognitive therapy, meditation, positive self-talk and the correction of negative self-perceptions, amongst numerous other techniques.

If you’re finding this challenge hard, or know someone who’s struggling with alcohol,  Alcohol Change UK is there for you if you need help or support.

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is held on Thursday 10 October. This year focuses on men’s health and suicide prevention.

What is mental health?

Mental Health is our social, emotional and physiological well-being. It can affect how we think, feel and act, which is why it is so important that we look after it.

Key Facts from Samaritans

Information from wwww.samaritans.org based on statistics from England
  • In 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Of these, 5,821 suicides were registered in the UK and 392 occurred in the Republic of Ireland.
  • In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, men are four times more likely to take their own lives than women.
  • In the UK, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 45-49.
  • In the Republic of Ireland, the highest suicide rate was for men aged 25–34 (with an almost identical rate for men aged 45–54).
  • In Northern Ireland, suicide rates for both men and women are higher than other UK nations – however rates are not necessarily directly comparable.


Call Samaritans anytime, day or night for FREE on 116 123 or send them an email jo@samaritans.org (response time: 24 hours)

How can libraries support mental health?

Libraries are a fantastic place to socialise, take part in activities and find books to support you and boost your mood. They are a welcoming space that invites everyone, from all walks of life, through their doors with no judgement.

Libraries hold many groups such as Knit & Natter, baby play groups, rhyme time, story time and many more! These are free to attend and you can drop in on any of the sessions. They give the opportunity to meet new people and also allows time to bond with your children.

Find out about activities in libraries.

Learning Courses for Wellbeing

There are learning courses, many of which are free, which you can book on to develop your skills, try something new and to meet like-minded people. These can be booked online via the online shop or at your local library. Check out the shop today to see what our libraries have to offer. Some of the learning courses include looking at your wellbeing; previous courses libraries have held are Complete Wellbeing and Mindful Photography.

Books on Prescription

The Reading Agency have created a reading well booklist to support mental health.

The Reading Well Books on Prescription is a national scheme available with recommended books from a range of self-help books which have proven value in helping people who suffer from common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, anger and panic attacks.

Benefits of reading on mental health

Information from The Reading Agency

Each week about 1 in 6 adults in the UK are affected by a common mental health disorder. (25)

Children with reading difficulties are at greater risk of developing mental health problems later in life, including depression, anxiety, behavioural problems, anger & aggression. (26)

Non-readers are 28% more likely to report feelings of depression, and about 1.3 million people in the UK say they rarely read because of depression. (27)

Proven power of reading. An online poll of over 4000 people from a representative sample in the UK revealed that regular readers for pleasure reported fewer feelings of stress & depression than non-readers, and stronger feelings of relaxation from reading than from watching television or engaging with technology intensive activities. (28)

Studies have shown that those who read for pleasure have higher levels of self-esteem & a greater ability to cope with difficult situations. Reading for pleasure was also associated with better sleeping patterns. (29)

Adults who read for just 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction.  (30)

25 [Hilhorst, S, et al. (2018) A Society of Readers Demos p. 30]↩26 [Boyes, M. E., Leitao, S., Claessen, M., Badcock, N. A., and Nayton, M. (2016) Why Are Reading Difficulties Associated with Mental Health Problems? in Dyslexia, 22: 263-266]↩27 [Billington, J (2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool p. 5-6]↩28 [Billington, J, (2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool]↩29 [Billington, J, (2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool]↩30 [Billington, J, (2015) Reading between the Lines: the Benefits of Reading for Pleasure Quick Reads, University of Liverpool p. 7]↩

Mind charity

Hampshire County Council is linked with the mental health charity, Mind. They seek to help anyone who is suffering from a mental health problem and assist them in getting the support they need. Their other aims are to raise awareness and understanding about mental health and try and reduce the stigma associated with this.

For more information check out Solent Mind

Connect to Support

What is Connect to Support Hampshire?

Connect to Support Hampshire is a website for adults in Hampshire. Its aim is to help you stay independent and to manage your own care.  You can find local groups, activities and services within your community as well as formal care services.

If you or someone you know needs support around mental health, then this is a fantastic online service to use.

Hampshire Libraries booklist for World Mental Health Day

How to stop feeling so damn depressed : the no BS guide for men / Jonas A. Horwitz.

In this no-nonsense guide for men, psychologist Jonas Horwitz presents straightforward, jargon-free strategies to help you identify and overcome depression, once and for all. The damned thing about severe depression is that it takes over your brain, body, and spirit. It wants you to say to yourself, ‘There is nothing I can do to make myself feel better. I am helpless in the face of my problems’. Even at this very moment as you read these words, your severe depression is whispering in your ear, ‘This is all bulls**t’. Your depression has lived with you for a long time, and has seldom left your side. It’s relentlessly pessimistic, and wants you to believe that your misery will never end. In a nutshell – your severe depression is The Beast that you just can’t seem to escape.

Man up, man down : standing up to suicide / Paul McGregor.

When Paul McGregor’s dad tried to take his own life, it changed Paul’s worldview forever. Of course he hadn’t seen it coming, and so all his old certainties dissolved and he struggled to cope. Paul’s dad eventually recovered in hospital and went home, and it seemed as though things could now finally start to improve. But then a few weeks later, tragedy struck. Paul’s dad made a second attempt on his life, walking in front of a lorry. He died instantly. In order to distract himself from his grief, Paul began to overwork himself and chase ‘success’. He found himself in a dark place, suffering from depression and fearing that he’d follow in his dad’s footsteps. How could he, as a man, show his vulnerability? ‘Man Up, Man Down’ is Paul’s tale of recovery. It also explores what it means to be a man in today’s society.

I never said I loved you / Rhik Samadder.

‘I’m in bed with my mother, in a Bangkok sex hotel. It is my 30th birthday, it is time for me to become a man, and I have grave worries about the kind of man I’m going to become.’ On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time in years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment – so he seizes the opportunity: to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from. Through this begins a journey of investigation, healing and recovery. Along the way Rhik learns some shocking truths about his family, and realizes that, in turn, he will need to confront the secrets he has long buried. But through this, he triumphs over his fears and brings his depression into the light. ‘I Never Said I Loved You’ is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going.

Overcoming anxiety without fighting it / Dr Tim Cantopher.

The evidence that long-term anxiety causes a whole host of health problems is incontrovertible, as is the fact that it exacerbates existing problems, such as pain. The causal link between anxiety and heart disease, strokes, bowel diseases, inflammatory conditions and some cancers is well established. Reducing our anxiety would improve our long-term health as clearly as exercise and good diet. It would also allow us to perform better in whatever we are doing. The good news is that we can do something fairly quickly about stress and anxiety. This book examines characteristic thinking patterns in anxiety such as predictions, catastrophic thinking and assumptions, and looks at ways to accept and change the processes of anxiety.

The stranger on the bridge : my journey from despair to hope / by Jonny Benjamin and Britt Pflüger.

In 2008, 20 year-old Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, about to jump. A stranger saw his distress and stopped to talk with him – a decision that saved Jonny’s life. Fast forward to 2014 and Jonny, together with Rethink Mental Illness launch a campaign with a short video clip so that Jonny could finally thank that stranger who put him on the path to recovery. More than 319 million people around the world followed the search. ITV’s breakfast shows picked up the story until the stranger, whose name is Neil Laybourn, was found and – in an emotional and touching moment – the pair reunited and have remained firm friends ever since. ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ is a memoir of the journey Jonny made both personally, and publicly to not only find the person who saved his life, but also to explore how he got to the bridge in the first place and how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder.

Suicide prevention techniques : how a suicide crisis centre saves lives / Joy Hibbins.

Focusing on the methods used at a ground-breaking Suicide Crisis Centre which has a zero suicide achievement, this guide offers strategies to help people in suicidal crisis. Founded after the author’s own suicidal experience, it challenges the established ways of working in mental health and sets out a new way to provide crisis care.

This too will pass: anxiety in the professional world / Richard Martin.

What happens when you have a mental breakdown? What does it to do to your marriage? Your job? Your kids? Can you ever pick up the pieces and start again? Or do you have to create a whole new life for yourself? Richard Martin’s book answers those questions. By all markers, Richard’s life was a success: he was happily married, a great father, and lived a fulfilling life, professionally and personally. But the pressures of a highflying legal career, his increasing social commitments, and family illness all took their toll. One evening, Richard stopped on his way home to use a cash point machine, and couldn’t remember how to use it. He sunk to the pavement, unable to hold back the tears, unable to carry on. Richard pulls no punches in describing his breakdown and the crushing social anxiety that left him scared to even answer the front door.

Reasons to stay alive / Matt Haig.

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. We want to raise awareness to remove the stigma and so that we can all understand that talking about our mental health isn’t ’embarrassing’ and that seeking help is a sign of bravery, not weakness.

National Coding Week

16 – 22 September 2019

“National Coding Week is a volunteer-led organisation founded in 2014. It aims to help build people’s confidence and skills by encouraging volunteers to run fun and engaging digital events.”  CodingWeek.org

Code Club was founded in 2012 to assist children with learning coding skills with free after school clubs. In these clubs children learn to create games, animations, and web pages using Scratch, Python, or HTML/CSS.

Code Clubs in Libraries

Did you know most Hampshire libraries hold their own Code Clubs for your children? These are fun sessions for children to create their own interactive games and animations. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet other children of a similar age and learn new skills. To find out where and when sessions are held near you, pop into your local library or send them a message through their Facebook page.

What Code Club books are available in Hampshires libraries?

If you want Books about Coding, there are plenty available on the library catalogue.

Coding in Scratch for Beginners – Rachel Ziter, An Unofficial Guide to Coding with Minecraft – Avaro Scrivano, Webpage Design – Clive Gifford


Have you heard of a Micro:bit? These are pocket size computers that you can borrow from your library for free! If you would like to give it a try, have a look where you can borrow a Micro:bit from.

Volunteering at Code Club

Would you like to volunteer to help at a Code Club at your local library? Our code clubs have proven very popular and we’re thrilled to be able to offer these sessions to children, something that wouldn’t be possible without our lovely volunteers. We’re always looking for more volunteers; volunteers who know one or more coding program, who like working with children and who are not only friendly, but patient too. If this sounds like you, why not volunteer with Code Club by heading over to this website?

We spoke to one of our Code Club volunteers and this is what they had to say:

  • What do you find rewarding about volunteering for code club?

I like sharing my enthusiasm for computing with the younger generation – basically its an excuse to be a kid again and have fun ! 

  • What made you want to volunteer in the first place?

Initially to encourage my own two daughters to get into coding but after starting as a volunteer and getting to know the children that attended I began to feel a real sense of guardianship and responsibility towards their own coding journeys . Their progress encourages you to share with them the knowledge that will help them reach the next level (without losing too many lives or turtles 🐢 !) The code club curiosity door is always open – try it and see what happens! 

  • Why should others volunteer?

A sense of community, the feel good factor ! It’s sociable and there is never a dull moment as the children get to know you and each other and can share jokes and take part in healthy competition !

  • What have you learnt since starting their volunteering?

How to run the coding club in a style that suits us as volunteers (plays towards our strengths) and how to use the tools and projects provided by the code club organisation. I have learnt also that there are some great kids in Totton who are funny and smart and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to teach them a bit about coding 🙂 

Ringwood Library Code Club donation

Ringwood Library were recently given an extremely generous donation towards their Code Club. Here’s what they had to say: “We are absolutely delighted that the Rotary Club of Ringwood very kindly donated a significant sum of money to enable us to purchase our own Code Club computers. Members of the Rotary Club and our Mayor Tony Ring visited us to see the new computers in use by our keen, young coders. It gave us an opportunity to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to them for their incredible support”.

Sexual Health Week

16 – 22 September 2019

Brook believes that every young person should have equal access to quality relationships and sex education, sexual health services and wellbeing support.

Brook Young People, 2019, http://www.brook.org.uk

Talking about sex and sexual health can be difficult, and it can be even tougher to get the teenagers to listen without the stomping out shouting “Uh, you’re so embarrassing!”
We have some informative and helpful books that you can leave with your teenager for them to read or browse after, or before, having ‘The Talk’ with them. The books can give teenagers the extra support and help they might need to feel confident in themselves and their body. As well as a better understanding of what’s happening to their bodies, to their hormones and know that they are not alone.
Have a look at the list below for just some of the great titles we have available to borrow, or if you would prefer to browse all titles, head down to the bottom of this blog.

1. The breast book : a puberty guide with a difference – it’s the when, why and how of breasts by Emma Pickett

When breasts first start to grow, no one talks about it. There aren’t any greetings cards that say, ‘Woo Hoo! Your breasts are developing!’ but you get a birthday card when you are ten and that’s just about planet Earth going around the Sun ten times. Why don’t we say, ‘Woo Hoo!’? Because we live in a society where we often get uncomfortable and look at the floor when it comes to talking about breasts. They seem to be important in lots of ways but then there are these confusing rules that say when we’re allowed to notice them and talk about them, and when we’re not. This book tells you all about breasts and helps you to feel confident about their arrival.

2. Understanding sexuality : what it means to be lesbian, gay or bisexual by Honor Head

This title looks at the issues around sexuality – what it means, being lesbian, gay or bisexual, coming out, homophobia and accepting yourself and being happy in your own skin. It includes talking and debating points and is perfect for someone starting to question their sexuality or for PSHE lessons.

3. What is gender? How does it define us? And other big questions by Juno Dawson

What’s the difference between sex and gender? What does it mean to be defined by your gender? Are there only two genders? This informative book helps kids to explore these questions and more, explaining that there are differences of opinion and that answers are not always straightforward.

4. The boys’ guide to growing up by Phil Wilkinson and illustrated by Sarah Horne

A friendly and reassuring guide for boys as they approach puberty, explaining the changes that will happen to their bodies as they grow up and how these changes might make them feel. Covering everything from physical changes like body hair and testicle growth to emotional ones like mood swings and self-esteem, the author anticipates any worries that boys may have relating to what is ‘normal’ and about feeling different. It gives them the information they will need to reassure them and boost their confidence, encouraging them to feel positive about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty.

5. Doing it! : let’s talk about sex by Hannah Witton

Sexting, virginity, consent, the big O…let’s face it, doing it can be tricksy. I don’t know anyone (including myself) who has sex all figured out. So I’ve written a book full of honest, hilarious (and sometimes awkward) anecdotes, confessions and revelations. And because none of us have all the answers, I’ve invited some friends and fellow YouTubers to talk about their sexuality, too. We talk about doing it safely. Doing it joyfully. Doing it when you’re ready. Not doing it. Basically, doing it the way you want, when you want.

6. Dr Christian’s guide to growing up online (hashtag: awkward) by Dr Christian Jessen

‘Dr Christian’s Guide to Growing Up Online (Hashtag: Awkward)’ takes a social-media style tour through such wide-ranging topics as health, puberty, anxiety, gender, sexuality, stress, grief and any difficult questions in between. In this brand-new book, readers aged 10 and up will come across every question they’ve ever imagined asking, and probably a few they haven’t. Perfect for starting a dialogue about a difficult subject or for getting a quick answer from a reliable source.

7. The girl guide by Marawa Ibrahim and illustrated by Sinem Erkas

Five times world-record breaking hula-hoop star Marawa Ibrahim was told that she was too chubby during her teenage years to succeed as a performer. Today she is one of the most solicited circus performers worldwide, working with artists from Pharrell Williams, to Beyonce and Kenzo. Contained within these pages are 50 lessons, anecdotes and stories about the changes Marawa experienced in her own body during puberty.

8. Puberty and growing up by Anna Claybourne

Puberty is often a confusing time with many changes both physical and emotional to deal with. This book deals with all aspects of puberty in a straightforward and sensitive way so young children and teenagers are armed with all the facts. It includes the changes that happen to boys and girls, periods, moods and stress and introduces sex and sexuality. The text is accompanied by fun, graphic illustrations suitable for any age.

9. Help your kids with growing up : a no-nonsense guide to puberty and adolescence by Robert Winston

Covering everything from the menstrual cycle to sexting and even cyber-bullying, this visual guide to puberty and adolescence is a must-read for all parents and tweens embarking on those scary teenage years. It covers contemporary issues such as internet safety, whilst also tackling key topics such as sexuality and body image.

10. The girls’ guide to growing up by Anita Naik and illustrated by Sarah Horne

A friendly and reassuring guide for girls as they approach puberty, explaining the changes that will happen to their bodies as they grow up and how these changes might make them feel. Covering everything from periods and breast development to body hair and personal hygiene, the author anticipates any worries that girls may have relating to what is ‘normal’ and about feeling different. It gives them the information they will need to reassure them and boost their confidence, encouraging them to feel positive about the changes they will experience as they go through puberty.

These are just some of the books available to borrow from Hampshire Libraries, visit our website to browse all titles available.

World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s month is held annually in September.

The aim is to raise awareness of the disease and in doing so, help people to understand what life is like for someone living with or those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International: “2 out of every 3 people globally believe there is little or no understanding of Dementia in their country”. This campaign aims to change that statistic.

Alzheimer’s is a condition where the person’s brain function declines which can include memory, thinking and other mental abilities.

Alzheimer’s Research UK. Source: Dementia fact sheet December 2017; World Health Organisation

In Hampshire Libraries we want to raise awareness by staff attending specific training sessions and many have now become Dementia Friends. They can be identified by the Dementia Friends badge.


Reminiscence collection

Hampshire Libraries holds a Reminiscence Collection which are items that have been chosen to stimulate and support reminiscence and may be of particular use to carers working with people with dementia.

Memory Joggers 1940 – 1989 Entertainers – Barbara & Robin Dynes, I can remember the 1970s – Sally Hewitt, Having Fun in Grandma’s Day – Faye Gardner

Other books available to borrow

Hampshire Libraries hold books that explain about Alzheimer’s and Dementia and some are from the perspective of those suffering or caring for those with the disease. Find those books here: Books about Alzheimer’s & Dementia

There also a special collection of books called ‘Pictures to Share‘ which are fantastic books that help those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia bring back memories and to look at images that are part of daily life.

Family Life, At the Seaside, Shopping – Pictures to share Community interest company, edited by Helen Bate

Home Library Service

If you can’t get to the library due to ill-health, disability or caring responsibilities the library can come to you.

We can arrange for you to have your library books delivered to your home on a regular basis.

We offer books in standard and large print and also have a wide range of audio books in different formats. If you would like to borrow a particular title from Hampshire’s stock, we can get it for you.

This service is free.

How it works

Ask about the service at your local library, fill in the Library Service form or call HantsDirect on 0300 555 1387. After you have completed the enquiry form we will contact you by phone or email to assess your eligibility.

We deliver the service through our team of volunteers.

We will match you with someone and make them aware of what you like to read. They will visit you and exchange the items you have borrowed usually at least once every 4 weeks.

Volunteering for the Home Library Service

Or if you would like to become a volunteer who delivers and collects books, then please find out more information and apply here: Home Library Service Volunteering information

Other information

Some of our Hampshire Libraries hold Dementia Events and Drop Ins where you can receive advice and those who have Alzheimer’s and Dementia can attend a group.

You can also receive help and information through the Hampshire website by visiting the Adult Social Care Support page.

Libraries are a safe space and there are so many ways in which they can support and enhance the life of a person diagnosed and their carers.

Digital Readers

Digital Readers is an online reading group for everyone who’s older than 16 and has both a Hampshire Library card and a Facebook account.

Through the BorrowBox app, using your Hampshire Library Card, you will be able to download an eCopy of the selected title to your tablet or smart phone to read and enjoy. There will be hundreds of copies, of both the eBook and the eAudiobook version, available for you to download right away, so no need to reserve it or get it added to a waiting list; just download it right away and get reading!

Throughout the month you will be able to talk about the book with others in the group, and there will be regular discussions happening, so check back in to join in on the conversations as they pop up. As is the case with any reading group, there will be books you love, and books you might wish you had never picked up -and that’s okay!
In the group you will be able to discuss your opinions, feelings and thoughts on the month’s title in a friendly environment. To keep the group friendly, and ensure everyone feels confident expressing their thoughts, we ask that everyone keep the language clean and show respect to one another.

There won’t be a set day or time when you have to be available; this means you can join in the discussions whenever it suits you! There is also not a physical place to meet, as all discussions are taking place in the Facebook group, so you won’t have to leave the house to be part of the reading group!
On the last Friday of each month, the book for the following month will be announced, it will then become available for download on the 1st of each month.

If you don’t have a Hampshire Library card, you can apply for one online. It is completely free to sign up to the library, and as long as any physical items borrowed are returned on time, it will continue to be free.
After you sign up, your library card will be sent to your home and you can then join the reading group using your Facebook account.

The first book will be available to download through the BorrowBox app on Sunday 1 September, and it will be….

Life of Pi by Yann Martel!

Pi lives in Pondicherry, India, where his father owns the city’s zoo. The family decides to immigrate to Canada, but tragedy strikes at sea. In the lifeboat are five survivors: Pi, a hyena, a zebra, a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.”

This 2002 Man Booker Prize winner is a story about survival, life and one boy’s incredible journey. We’re delighted this will be our first book in our new reading group and hope you will join us in our discussions over on Facebook.

If you would like to join the group, then head over to our Facebook page and join the ‘Digital readers’ group, you can find it here!

If in doubt, go to the library!

Listen to the latest podcast from Hampshire Libraries!

In our latest podcast episode, we speak to author and actor Charlie Higson and the team at Andover Library about writing the Young Bond books and the lengths he went to, to scare his youngest son with the young adult horror series The Enemy.     

Our library experts at Andover also give their reasons for recommending the following books:
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Have a listen to the podcast here!

Other books mentioned include:
Silverfin by Charlie Higson
No Way Out by Cara Hunter
The Dry by Jane Harper
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
After the Fire by Henning Mankell
A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Our top picks for kids to read this summer holiday

We’ve spoken to our team of library experts and come up with nine of our favourite books for children to read this summer holiday, and a great selection to choose from for the Summer Reading Challenge. From dragons stalking library shelves to magical mysteries at a lighthouse – this summer, the real adventures begin between the pages of books!

Where the River Runs Gold, Sita Brahmachari (9-11 years)


In a world where the bees have disappeared, children are the ones who pollinate crops so the nation doesn’t go hungry. Follow Shifa and her brother Themba, as they try to escape from the cruelty of the farm they’re forced to work on. Read on as they hope to build a better life for themselves and inspire a better future for everyone.

Where the River Runs Gold – Sita Brahmachari

The Dragon in the Library, Louie Stowell & Davide Ortu (5-8 years)


Kit’s a kid who prefers getting her feet muddy to picking up a book, but when her keen-reading friends drag her to the library, she discovers a whole world she never knew existed. Join Kit and her friends as they battle to save the library… and the world.

The Dragon in the Library – Louie Stowell & David Ortu

Pages & Co Tilly and the Bookwanderers, Anna James (8-11 years)


When eleven year old Tilly’s mum disappeared, she started living above her grandparents’ bookshop. Life above a bookshop is great for a bookworm like Tilly, who loves nothing more than diving into the pages of her favourite stories. Until one day she discovers the characters from the pages walking among the shelves and enlists the likes of Alice in Wonderland and Anne of Green Gables to help solve the mystery of her missing mum.

Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers – Anna James

The Bad Luck Lighthouse, Nicki Thornton (9-12 years)


Following on from the mystery of the Last Chance Hotel, we join Seth Seppi in a daring adventure as he discovers a bewildering new world of magic. With many questions left unanswered and his nemesis still at large, it’s not long before Seth and his cat Nightshade are embroiled in a new MagiCon case – a murder investigation at an abandoned lighthouse.

The Bad Luck Lighthouse –
Nicki Thornton

Head Kid, David Baddiel (8-12 years)


 In this laugh-out-loud story of chaos, practical jokes and wish fulfilment, David Baddiel answers the question of what would happen if the strictest headteacher swapped bodies with the naughtiest kid in school.

Head Kid –
David Baddiel

Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine, Greg James & Chris Smith (7-10 years)

Superhero comedy

Murph Cooper doesn’t have any powers, but that doesn’t stop him from being on the best team of the Heroes’ Alliance. But supervillain Magpie believes that a powerless hero is no hero at all, and builds a gadget to prove it. When Kid Normal enters the Shadow Machine, the world won’t ever be the same.

Kind Normal and the Shadow Machine –
Greg James & Chris Smith

The Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Q Rauf (8-11 years)


Winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, The Boy At the Back of the Class follows the story of Ahmet, a strange newcomer to the Year 4 classroom. He sits at the back, doesn’t talk much and, strangest of all, isn’t keen on sweets! But between them, four 9-year-olds have a plan to make Ahmet their friend.

The Boy at the Back of the Class- Onjali Q Rauf

Brightstorm: A Sky-Ship Adventure, Vashti Hardy (9-11 years)


When twins Arthur and Maddie hear news that their father has died in a failed expedition to South Polaris, they embark upon a dangerous quest to find answers. Join the twins as they follow in their father’s footsteps and begin a new exploration voyage to discover the truth.

Brightstorm: A Sky-Ship Adventure
Vashti Hardy

The World’s Worst Teachers, David Walliams (7-12 years)


If you think your teachers are bad, you should see these guys! These ten tales of terrible teachers will make you realise that the monster at the front of your classroom isn’t so bad after all.

The World’s Worst Teachers –
David Walliams

Love Your Library – the Hampshire Library podcast

Are you an avid reader?  Keen to be inspired for your next book?  You’ll love our new podcast series which is free to download and subscribe.  You’ll find two episodes to download straightaway which feature interviews with Shetland and Vera author Ann Cleeves and AGA-saga queen Joanna Trollope.  You’ll also hear book recommendations from our library staff at Chandlers Ford and Fareham. Our hosts Kate and Mary are both keen book lovers who’ve worked for Hampshire County Council for more years than they’d care to admit. 

Here’s links to the books discussed in each episode:

Island Life
In this episode, our hosts Kate Price McCarthy and Mary Stone talk to Ann Cleeves about her latest and, can we bear it, last Shetland book, Wild Fire.  Ann also gives us the lowdown on her upcoming book The Long Call, the first in her new Two Rivers series. 

They discussed three very different books with Chandlers Ford Library:
The Key to Flambards by Linda Newbery
The One by John Marrs  
The Summer Book  by Tove Jansson

Other books mentioned include:
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Tempest by William Shakespeare
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

Match Fit
In this episode, our hosts Kate Price McCarthy and Mary Stone talk to Joanna Trollope about her latest and twenty-first book, An Unsuitable Match, which vividly depicts the family tensions and dilemmas caused by love in later life. Joanna also talks about her updated version of Sense and Sensibility published as part of the Austen Project in 2013.

They discussed three recommended books with the library team at Fareham Library:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Never Greener by Ruth Jones

Other books mentioned include:
The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid
Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
Death Comes to Pemberley by PD James
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Do let us know if you’ve read and enjoyed any of the books we’ve talked about. 

Makery on the Move – Summer 2019

The Makery is on the move this summer – coming to 25 of our libraries throughout the summer! Bringing with them two robotics sessions and a digital animation session for children age 8-13, each session is two hours long and tickets are £8 a child. Tickets can be bought from the library directly or online by following the links below.
The three sessions available are:

Lego® Robotics,
The children will code and program EV3 Robots. Using pre-built EV3 space models controlled via iPads they will write and troubleshoot the code necessary to program the EV3 to complete a space-themed mission.
The children will have the opportunity to put the skills they’ve learnt to use as they, themselves, have to navigate the surface of the “moon” to repair and reactivate a faulty lunar module.
This is a creative design technology session underpinned by computing principles to build a space themed lunar landing vehicle built using recycled materials and powered by a Crumble robotics kit.
The children will get the opportunity to build their own space vehicle from recycled items to complete an exciting mock lunar mission.
Digital Animation,
Using iPads and dedicated software the children will create their own fun space themed adventure in a stop-motion animated film, featuring all their favourite Summer Reading Challenge characters.

If your child or children would like to join one of these sessions, have a look below to see when the Makery will be stopping at a library near you this summer!
To book a space for your child or children, contact the library directly or click on the session you’re interested in below to book a space online.

Works, Lego, Robotics

Lego® Robotics sessions;

Children, Win, Success, Video Game, Play, Happy

Crumble sessions;

Digital Animation sessions;

Summer Reading Challenge illustrations © Adam Stower for The Reading Agency