Death Positive Libraries

May 9 2023

Death Positive teal heart with lilies. Dark blue background with lighter blue fern leaves

Almost 80% of British adults find it difficult to talk about death, even though it is something we must all face. Not talking about death, not getting the right support and advice at the right time and the suffering that people go through when a loved one dies or when they are facing death themselves, puts enormous strain on mental health and wellbeing. 

Death positive libraries aim to remove the barriers to talking about death and dying. Working with Libraries Connected and following on from pilot schemes in Redbridge, Kirklees and Newcastle Library services we launched five Death Positive Hubs in early April 2022.

Libraries are uniquely placed to be a centre for bereavement support, as well as a trusted space where conversations about death and dying can take place with caring staff on hand to help.

The Hubs, which are located across the county, to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from this project, offer:

A specially chosen collection of books for adults offering practical information and guidance.

A collection of books for children, which use relatable stories to help initiate conversations about death.

Trained staff who are comfortable talking about death and able to provide practical guidance for those seeking further professional support.

Resources containing QR codes, directing customers to our webpages and signposting to relevant support services.

Bespoke events such as Death Fayres, working with other organisations to showcase the full scope of bereavement support in your local area.

Living with Loss groups, providing a safe space for bereaved individuals to come together and support one another in their grief journey * Find out more through our events pages.

Learning in Libraries courses to support wellbeing such as grief yoga.

Our five hubs, which are based in Basingstoke Discovery Centre, Chandler’s Ford Library, New Milton Library, Stubbington Library and Waterlooville Library; work in partnership with specialist charities, organisations and businesses who support those who are dying or bereaved. These partnerships enable us to offer practical and supportive events in the Death Positive hubs and signpost customers to other useful services.

Existing services within libraries will also be helpful for people seeking support within Death Positive Hubs: social groups such as ‘Knit and Knatter’ or Scrabble club, reading groups or access to digital information through our public network computers and WIFI. Connect to Support Hampshire provides helpful end of life and bereavement advice and our Home Library Service allows those unable to leave their home, a book delivery service.  

Our Death Positive books are available in the five hubs: browse our online catalogue and reserve the book or books you would like to pick up at your local library (small charge applies). A range of eBooks and eAudiobooks can be found on Borrowbox. In 2023, we will be expanding our collections to include titles addressing baby loss, suicide and death as a result of violence/ hate crime. 

LDear life book cover
Madness of grief book cover
State of disbelief book cover