Tales & Travel Memories program honored by the Library of Congress

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden recently announced that the Tales & Travel Memories program of the Gail Borden Public Library District, Elgin, IL has been selected as a 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program Best Practice Honoree.

According to the press release announcing the 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Awards winners, “Three organizations received awards from Hayden and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein: the Children’s Literacy Initiative; the National Center for Families and Learning; and Pratham Books.  Originated by Rubenstein in 2013, Literacy Awards honor organizations working to promote literacy and reading in the United States and worldwide.  The awards recognize groups doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work, and they spotlight the need for the global community to unite in striving for universal literacy…The Library of Congress Literacy Awards program is also honoring 15 organizations for their implementation of best practices in literacy promotion.”  The Tales & Travel Memories program was designated as one of these 15 Best Practice Honorees!

As many of you know, the Tales & Travel Memories program takes persons living with dementia on an imaginary trip to locations across the globe using highly illustrated adult and children’s books along with other library materials.  “Travelers” take turns reading out loud from a folktale, legend or myth associated with the chosen location.  They are also invited to read aloud from a list of interesting facts.  Finally, they browse through carefully selected books which stimulate memories and spark conversations with the volunteers and library staff conducting the program.  Supplementary materials including music, artifacts from the destination, coloring pages and even food make the program multi-sensory.  This one-hour monthly program has been offered at over 15 memory care facilities in the Elgin, IL area.  Circulating kits based on the program have also been made available for those who are living at home.

Librarians across the country are invited to replicate this program in their own communities and many have already done so.  There is a Tales and Travel Memories website that contains a free tool box with 12 excursion guides and 31 folktales made accessible through a Creative Commons license.

Librarians from the Gail Borden Public Library have been invited to attend the conference and awards ceremony which will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 28.

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