Hospice, Library team up to go outside the box

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

One of the unexpected bright sides of the pandemic has been that it has encouraged the library and other community groups to think outside of the box and develop new creative partnerships and programs.

One such initiative brought the County of Prince Edward Public Library together with Hospice Prince Edward. Through the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and the County Foundation, Hospice Prince Edward received funding to develop a dedicated grief and bereavement collection available to everyone through the library.

Melanie Dailey, Community Development Director at Hospice Prince Edward explains that, “Through COVID, it became difficult to reach people and provide the support they need. We are grateful that this funding was available to help us ensure that everyone has access to the information and support they need. The library was a logical partner given that it is accessible, welcoming, and private.”

You can access these materials whether you have recently lost someone, are facing a difficult diagnosis yourself, or just want to learn more. There are books discussing specific diagnoses or topics – for example, cancer, or losing someone to suicide, and titles geared to adults and children and both fiction and nonfiction.

“Hospice Prince Edward is committed to ensuring our community has access to resources that deepen our understanding of issues related to death, dying, and bereavement. All titles have been carefully chosen with the goal of creating a holistic collection that is both illuminating and thought provoking, as well as comforting, accessible, and practical,” added Matt Coates, Programs and Services Coordinator with Hospice Prince Edward who selected the titles.

The books are all housed at the Bloomfield Branch Library, but are available for pickup at any branch of the library. You can virtually browse the collection by visiting the library’s online catalogue and searching for the word “hospice”, and place the items on hold to collect through contactless curbside pickup. When we are able to welcome you into the library in Stage Two of the provincial Roadmap to Reopen, you will be welcome to browse the collection in person at the Bloomfield Branch Library.

“We are so appreciative of Hospice Prince Edward sharing their expertise in selecting titles and partnering with us on this project,” says Library CEO Barbara Sweet. If you are looking for specific recommendations, staff at Hospice are available to assist you. You can also ask at the library for suggestions.

The collection will continue to grow, and Dailey explains, “We’re committed to this collection, and are dedicated to adding new resources to keep the collection up to date”. Each book includes a bookplate with additional information about one-on-one and peer support groups so that anyone who is interested can find out more about support available through Hospice Prince Edward.

You can also visit their website at www.hospiceprinceedward.ca.

-Liz Zylstra