Clinton residents who are shut-in or have mobility issues will no longer have to visit the library for their reading fix.
A new Libray Home Service pilot project has been launched by the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) in Clinton, allowing residents to request a list of books, audiobooks, magazines, or even just their favourite authors. Librarian Kat Chatten will then pull them together and send them out with a community volunteer.
Based on a popular program in Kamloops, this service provides free delivery of library materials to patrons who are unable to visit the library due to mobility or health issues.
“It’s for anyone who is unable to come to the library. On your card the limit is ridiculous,” Chatten says. “If you’re an avid reader you can have 30 books a month. Or they can pick a particular category and we will give them a grab bag of titles.”
Carefully screened volunteers have signed up to make book deliveries to residents once a month. The TNRL says programs like this “support rural sustainability and enable residents to age in place in their own home and community.”
“It’s really a meals-on-wheels type of service, but in place of food, it’s materials such as large print, audiobooks, or anything else that the TNRL lends,” says Emily Olsen, the TNRL’s coordinator of customer experience.
The Clinton Library already offers a take-out book service to about 15 people, whose friends or relatives collect their books now. Chatten says she also chooses a lot of books for her patrons based on their favourites authors or genres. The new program will open up the service to everyone in the community, especially those who don’t have the additional support network.
Residents who have a list of books they have always wanted to read can also let the library know and Chatten will put them in the system and date them to two years in the future. The Clinton library has 9,500 books but gets weekly deliveries from the other 12 libraries in the system via inter-library loan. Westerns are a particular favourite among Clinton residents, but the library also has access to the top 10 quick reads in Canada every month, and the most popular top 40 paperbacks.
“It works out really well. A lot of people have mobility issues. They kind of found a sweet spot,” Chatten says.
The TNRL plans to expand the program to all TNRD communities this year. For more information, and to apply for Library Home Service, please visit www.tnrl.ca/accessibility or contact your local library.