Edinburgh-based voluntary organisation Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project (MECOPP) has launched a national resource library for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME ) communities, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, which holds information on a variety of health and social care issues.
While MECOPP works specifically to support BME carers in the Lothians, the new library encompasses a much wider range of subjects than purely carers’ issues and can be accessed by anyone in Scotland. Broadly, the library aims to assist all mainstream organisations that support BME communities.
Materials of interest to professionals include reports, policy documents, studies and training materials published by the statutory, voluntary and academic sectors. Titles for the public include advice and information leaflets/booklets on numerous topics in minority community languages. The library currently holds over 1,700 titles in Bengali, Chinese, Punjabi, Urdu and there are also a number of titles available on audio and video.
The library’s entire catalogue can be accessed and searched via MECOPP’s website by subject, language and resource type. Titles can then be requested by email or phone, postage and packing is the only charge made for use of the library. Many titles are available in electronic form as PDFs and can be emailed immediately at no cost.
The new library has taken almost three years to develop and is partly an extension of a directory of health resources in minority ethnic community languages, ‘Information for All’, that MECOPP researched for NHS Health Scotland (2005), and partly the organisation’s ongoing commitment to providing multi-lingual advice and information.
MECOPP’s aim is to make the library the principal source of information for anyone working with BME communities.