End-of-life decisions are not something any of us like to think about, much less talk about. When the time comes to make such decisions about a loved one, people are understandably emotional and perhaps not thinking clearly. And yet, while difficult, the topic is practically universal: everyone loses loved ones, and everyone dies.
How can libraries help? It seems to me that this is a perfect opportunity to offer assistance to our clientele—here are some of my ideas:
- Make sure your collection has current materials in all formats on the topics of hospice, grief, living wills, death and dying, and the like. Don’t forget the children’s collection.
- Partner with your local hospice and/or hospital to offer programs at the library, provide reading lists at their facilities, jointly sponsor programs, etc.
- Allow grief support groups to meet at the library
But this is just a start. What are your ideas? Has your library addressed the topic? Why or why not?