Inside The Library: Libraries deliver books and media to patrons’ homes

At the County of Prince Edward Public Library, we are dedicated to serving all members of our community and reducing barriers to access to library service.

We know that some patrons find it difficult to make it to the library, either because of physical challenges or because it is sometimes a challenge to find easy and accessible parking nearby the library. We deliver books across the county to library users who need it, providing delivery to individual residences as well as nursing and retirement homes. We regularly hear how valuable this service is to our delivery patrons and that they really appreciate having access to books and other library materials.

We achieve this service in two ways – first, with a team of excellent volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to visiting and sharing library resources, and with library staff.

As the cold weather approaches, however, some of our volunteers go south for the winter, just as the demand for service increases. To help us to continue to offer this service we are in search of a volunteer group who may be interested in taking on some of the deliveries.

Other libraries in our area have found success in partnering with service groups or volunteer organizations. If you are part of a group like this and are interested in more information, please let us know.

At the library we can select items and have them ready in bags to be picked up and delivered, so that the bulk of the volunteer’s time is spent where it is most valued – with the individuals receiving delivery. It is a great way to make a meaningful impact on someone’s life. Providing delivery of library materials often provides an excuse for a visit, to stave off isolation which is sometimes a real part of being unable to get out of the home.

We also offer a pick up service. If you have a family member, friend, or neighbour who has difficulty getting out to the library, the library can select books and have them ready at the desk for you to pick up and deliver. Some of our delivery patrons phone or e-mail us with their requested titles – we pull them from the shelf, bag them up and have them ready for a neighbour or relative to pick up.

Often our delivery patrons read large print books. Large print books are normally printed in size 16 font or larger and many brand new bestsellers are available this way. We also offer books on CD for patrons who like to listen to a book.

We are also a CELA partner library, which provides audio books for anyone with print impairment. That means anyone who can’t access regular print books, either for vision reasons, because it is physically a challenge to hold a book, or for a myriad of other reasons. We also stock many classic and well-reviewed TV series and movies on DVD. They often a welcome way to pass a cold winter’s evening!

If you are interested in receiving delivery, or are able to volunteer, please contact me, Liz Zylstra at (613) 399-2023 or by email, [email protected].

-Liz Zylstra