Thursday, 26 April 2012

Gardening Group

The groups with additional support needs in Central Library have been taking part in a gardening project. The groups planted seeds and used the internet to search for information, and pictures, of how the plants would develop. They then used the computers to record information, such as the plants progress, measurements and photographs, in a gardening diary. The Wall2 group was also involved in the urban garden project at Tayside Recyclers premises. The group planted potatoes in a recycled bath, and were able to eventually harvest them

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Digital Devices Success

Last year a new initiative was pioneered by Dundee Central Library, which introduced digital devices, such as iPads, e-Book Readers, iPods and Mp3 players into the Community, for use with individuals , organisations and groups of previously digitally excluded people.

This project offered an alternative way to deliver Library Services, and information, to users who had problems accessing mainstream libraries.

Such was the success of this venture, that ,earlier this year an additional bid for funding was submitted to SLIC (Scottish Libraries and Information Council), to assist with the future development of this scheme. This application was successful, and has now enabled the digital devices programme to be extended and enhanced, by offering free internet services in areas, and to individuals, who previously did not have online internet access. Sim cards and Mi-Fi's have been purchased to allow users to connect to internet services no matter where they are at the time.

This project will now enable people such as Housebound users, or groups in the Community who do not have Wi-Fi, or an internet connections, in their agency, or organisation, the opportunity to discover the many uses of the internet. Funding was also granted to allow a number of specialised Apps to be purchased, which would further benefit digitally excluded groups, individuals, and organisations in Dundee. Elderly residents in care home, and sheltered housing complexes, will now, for example, be able to access local reminiscence material online, including the 'Live Archive' and 'Bygone Dundee' sites on the Library WebPages, and they can now interact by using these devices to add their own stories.

Recipes Galore

One of the projects that the Ellen Mhor IT group worked on last year was to make a recipe book. "Living skills" is an important part of the home's every day schedule, therefore it was important to create a recipe book which everyone would be able to use.
The book was designed using pictures and text. After printing, each sheet was laminated so it could be wiped clean after use. The group took the recipe book away in January and it takes pride of place in the home's kitchen. It's used on a daily basis and can be added to at any time. It's good to see the projects we work on being put to good use.

Reminiscence Packs

Library staff who were involved in carrying out reminiscence at care homes and sheltered housing complexes in Dundee were receiving more and more enquiries from other organisations and complexes interested in establishing reminiscence groups in their locations. Such was the demand that staff put together Reminiscence packs for loan to the homes where reminiscence groups could use the library materials and resources available to facilitate their own sessions. These packs are devised by members of staff, who have experience of conducting reminiscence sessions, to help stimulate discussion and aid recall and to improve cognitive skills. Packs typically consist of books about Dundee, historic maps of the area, memory jogger cards, music from the era, artefacts and a reminiscence folder.

These folders are made up from material held in the local history department and contain information such as historic photographs of the relevant subjects, adverts and newspaper articles from the time, local relevant information and extracts from books relating to Dundee at that time being covered in the pack.

Packs are made up to cover local interests such as cinemas, working in Dundee and shopping in Dundee. These packs are then delivered by our housebound service to nursing homes, care homes and residential homes in Dundee making it possible for carers, or activity coordinators, to now hold their own reminiscence session with their residents.

Digital Devices

Earlier this year Dundee Public Libraries were successful in applying for funding to the Scottish Government Public Library Improvement fund.

From this fund digital devices were purchased, with the intention of bringing public library services to users who were unable to attend mainstream libraries and to offer alternative formats of library materials.

A number of organisations and groups are already involved in this project. These include Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ninewells Children’s Oncology ward, NHS Speech and Language Therapists, Dundee Disabled Children’s Association, as well as Housebound and Mobile service users within the Central Library.

There are range of devices available, such as iPad, e-Book readers, Ipod Touch and iPod Nanos, that can carry books and information in a
variety of different formats

People who have visual impairments benefit from audio books being downloaded , from the library website, onto these devices as well as, in some cases, for housebound readers for example, puzzles, jigsaws and crossword apps, which stimulate motor functions and sharpen mental agility.

Using these devices in health settings are desirable, as they can be cleaned with a sterile wipe and so reduce the risk of infection, that may be present with printed books, but still allow patients to access all the services that a public library would offer, such as free internet services and a range of entertainment and informational material.

This project ensures that no one in the community is excluded from library services because they can no longer make it to a library; we are simply finding unique and innovative ways to take our services to them, tailored to their individual needs

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

IT Collages

This project was undertaken by groups with additional support needs using the IT Suite in the Connections Department.

It ran over several months and involved clients developing IT skills and using them to construct a creative collage. During the course of this project individuals learnt how to search the Internet for images of favourite things, which they could incorporate into their pictures. This involved learning to use several search engines and clip art applications.

Then skills, such as cut and paste, were introduced to copy the chosen images onto a document for printing. Resizing techniques were then used to obtain the correct size of images suitable for the collages. Then the print function was looked at and using the best page setup to maximize the use of paper. The images, once gathered, were then printed, cut out The groups all approached this project in a different manner, as can be seen by their finished pieces. Some concentrated on colour and then searching for images of that particular colour, others decided to use the canvas to construct a collage of something that was interesting to them and using pictures of this they liked within the collage to make it a very person representation of things they liked and enjoyed and applied to the canvas

Some groups were also able to incorporate photos of themselves and the group into their collage. This initiative helped the individual group members learn some basic computers skills as well as encouraging them to use their imagination and be creative to produce a very effective and engaging piece of art.
An exhibition of the collages has been arranged in the main foyer of Dundee Central Library to take place on 28th March and run for two weeks. This allows the group members to display their work to family and friends as well as the general public. All the people involved are very excited about this forthcoming display and are preparing photographs and information to accompany their work, which is again assisting them in learning, and using, more IT skills.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Menu/Recipe Books Fot IT Users With Additional Needs

IT groups with special or additional needs have successfully compiled a menu/recipe book. The idea was to create a useable tool that members could make use of in their own care homes or day centres. We wanted an IT project that was flexible to the variety, and range, of the user’s capabilities. We asked each group member to create a favourite recipe for the book. The menus chosen were to be simple, easy to follow, and suitable for all people, regardless of their literacy skills. The menus would consist of breakfast, soups, main meals, puddings and cakes. Participants were then able to construct the recipes in a way that would correspond to their skill levels. Some, who where able to type, chose to use text as well as pictures for their recipes, others who had little, or no, literacy skills used images to describe the recipe process. Staff were on hand to assist with any text, when needed. A group member who had no literacy skills was easily able to follow a recipe by a fellow group member, using just the images, which were provided, to illustrate the preparation and cooking process. This project also helped individuals with their searching skills, looking for suitable images on the internets and being able to resize these pictures and cut and paste them into a document. Each page of the finished book was then laminated, so that it could be easily wiped clean when used in the kitchen. This was a project that was fun to do and allowed the participants to be involved in choosing their favourite foods. It also had a tangible end result that can be used in a practical way and helps the personal development and confidence of the individuals, and allows them to demonstrate their skills in producing the book to others, such as family and friends.