About Tales and Travel Memories

Tales and Travel Memories is an innovative library program that provides services directly to people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, not just their caregivers. Each one-hour program takes participants on an imaginary trip to another country or region of the United States and includes books, music, objects, folktales, and interesting facts about each destination.

Tales and Travel Memories is delivered by volunteers and Gail Borden Public Library District staff to 12 assisted living facilities in Elgin, Illinois. Visits are arranged ahead of time, and volunteers often deliver the same destination to multiple facilities, ensuring that participants receive personal attention during the program.

Traveling kits in rolling carry-on suitcases are also available for check-out at Gail Borden Public Library. Kits include several non-fiction books about a destination, examples of music, a DVD, and other items. Smaller in scale than a full program, Tales and Travel Memories check-out kits are designed to provide a program experience in a one-on-one setting. This enables caregivers to engage with their loved ones in new ways, stimulate conversation, and reminisce.

In the News

Five Million and Counting,” by Phil Morehart. Published in American Libraries, March 14, 2014. Retrieved from http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/five-million-and-counting/ 11 April 2016.

Stimulating Minds: Libraries develop programs to serve patrons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias,” by Terra Dankowski. Published in American Libraries, February 9, 2015. Retrieved from http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2015/02/09/stimulating-minds/ 11 April 2016.

Serving People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Excellent 21st Century libraries must reach underserved and isolated populations,” by Mary Beth Riedner, Karen Maki, and Miriam Anderson Lytle. Published in Strategic Library, July 2014. Retrieved from http://cld.bz/L41Qhuo#8/z 11 April 2016.

Grants and Awards

Tales and Travel Memories is an award-winning program and has received several grants and awards, including:

Tales & Travel Memories is currently supported by a combination of grant funds and the Karen Maki Fund for memory care programs, administered by the Gail Borden Public Library Foundation in Elgin, Illinois.

To Contribute

To make a tax-deductible contribution to help Tales and Travel Memories continue reaching older adults with dementia, send a check to the following address:

Karen Maki Fund c/o
Gail Borden Public Library Foundation
270 N. Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120