Can’t get to the Library? We deliver!

Did you know that Boone County Public Library’s Outreach Delivery staff will bring library materials to your home when you are unable to visit the Library?

Any Boone County resident, regardless of age, who is unable to visit the library due to a temporary or permanent physical limitation, or lack of transportation, may receive delivery. Currently the Library has 140 customers who receive monthly deliveries at their homes, senior apartments, retirement homes and even a monastery. This number changes frequently as new people request the service and others no longer need it.

The Library’s Outreach Assistant, Debbie Carroll, chooses and delivers most of the books with help from Outreach Delivery Driver Bruce Demoret. Debbie has worked for the Library for three years and describes her job as “awesome.”

“Everyone is always happy to see me when I deliver their books. Some of them have told me that I have made a difference in their lives,” said Debbie, “and that is very gratifying.”

When someone new signs up for delivery, Debbie either talks with them on the phone or meets with them in person to get a sense of the types of books they like to read. “If they like animals and have pets, I might ask them if they’d like to read cat mysteries,” said Debbie. “If they really like an author and have read everything by him, I’ll do some research to find similar authors for them.”

People enroll in the outreach delivery program for a myriad of reasons. Some cannot drive anymore, others have a temporary illness or ailment and just need a little help until they get back on their feet, and some just don’t have access to transportation.

“A man called one day and told us his car was broken, said Debbie. He asked if we could come pick up his library book. When we picked up the book, we noticed that it was a book on auto repair.”

Most of the people enrolled in the Library’s Outreach Delivery program are elderly and many of them have some form of macular degeneration. They look forward to Debbie’s monthly visits and she doesn’t disappoint when she shows up with a smile on her face and her arms full of books!

“It’s like Christmas and my birthday every time Debbie comes,” said Elaine Millar.  “It means the world to me. I’m homebound.”

Mrs. Millar has been receiving book deliveries from the Library for about two years. She was a regular customer at the Scheben Branch until she couldn’t drive any more. Knowing how much she loves to read, staff members from Scheben told her about the Outreach Delivery program.

“Reading constantly gets me out of my dreary world. It’s an escape,” she said. “I don’t have any problems when I read.”

Mrs. Millar likes to read murder mysteries by James Lee Burke as well as books by Debbie Macomber, Iris Johanson and James Patterson. She says she has enjoyed reading ever since she was a girl.

“As a girl I was allowed to open one present before Christmas and it was always a book. If you can’t read, how can you learn anything?”

Another one of Debbie’s customers is Laurana Winkle; she’s been receiving book deliveries for four or five years. She says, “My grandson, Dennis, found out about the library’s homebound program on the computer. He said, ‘Grandma, why don’t you save money borrowing books instead of buying them?’”

Mrs. Winkle reads about 1,000 books a year. Sometimes she reads them faster than Debbie can replenish them. “I recommend Word searches while people are waiting for their books. I order word searches through the mail – 40 at a time,” said Mrs. Winkle. “I also do them when I need to rest my eyes a bit, close to the end of my books.”

Some of Mrs. Winkle’s favorite authors are Debbie Macomber, Nicholas Sparks, Francine Rivers, and Karen Kingsbury. She also likes Amish books.  “I like about any type of book, especially Christian fiction.”

Debbie doesn’t just drop the books and run. She spends time chatting with each of her clients when she picks up their books and brings them more. Mrs. Winkle said, “Debbie has become a good friend to me. I love the homebound service. Everyone who has worked with homebound has been nice and polite.”

Debbie’s response, “It’s fun to make people happy!”

Do you or someone you know have trouble getting to the Library because of a physical ailment or lack of transportation? Call Debbie at 342-BOOK (2665) extension 8108 or fill out a registration form. We’d love to help!


Becky Kempf has been the Public Relations Coordinator at Boone County Public Library for twelve years. A graduate of Wright State University, she previously worked for Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana and the Association for the Advancement of Arts Education.

Batman is Everywhere (A look at the Library’s Graphic Novel Collection)

Did you know that BCPL has 4800 graphic novel titles? Since this year’s theme for Summer Reading is “What’s your Superpower?”  I wanted to talk a little about our graphic novel collections and of course Batman.

What is a Graphic Novel?
Merriam -Webster defines graphic novels as “a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book.” This is a good start for understanding what graphic novels are, but it’s not entirely accurate since there are many biographies, memoirs and nonfiction graphic novels now. It is more accurate to think of “graphic novel” as a format like a DVD or book or CD – how you are presented with the information – rather than what the information is like fiction, non-fiction, mystery …etc. Some graphic novels contain a story arc of a comic book series that was originally published as several issues, while others were written as one complete book-length piece but both are graphic novels.

 Defining the “Graphic” in Graphic Novel
“Graphic” has become a term that is used in other media to mean violent or explicit content but that is not part of its definition here. Don’t get me wrong, there are graphic novels that have explicit content and a great deal of violence but they do not define the format as a whole. The “graphic” in graphic novel means that the story is depicted graphically – with pictures. It is not an indication of the content of those pictures or the story they tell. The Peanuts are graphic, Bone is graphic, and so are The Walking Dead, Maus and 300.

Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah …Batman!
Just like with books and movies, the graphic novel (GN), teen graphic novel (GN TEEN) and children’s graphic novel (GN J) collections are determined by the audience that they were written for and are located in the sections for that audience in our buildings. This is the primary reason that Batman is everywhere.  The Caped Crusader (among a great many other characters) is popular among all age groups, and there are over 160 graphic novels featuring the Dark Knight in our three collections.

The children’s collection has the Batman Adventures and Batman: The Brave and the Bold which are artistically based on the two cartoon shows that share their names.


The teen collection has several of the mainstream Batman titles including the New 52 Batman and Batman and Robin.


The graphic novel collection has the darker Batman titles that have more mature content like Batman: Detective Comics, Batman: The Dark Knight, and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

To put it in a scale most people are familiar with, a GN J graphic novel would have similar content to a G or PG movie, GN TEEN would be upper PG to PG-13, and GN would be upper PG-13 to R. Publishers, like DC Comics and Marvel, are eager to gain and maintain lifelong fans and they are developing content for all ages so that everyone can enjoy their characters.


Visual literacy -Why Graphic Novels are good for your brain
Graphic novels are an amazing tool to promote visual literacy, a 21st century skill defined by the Institute of Museum and library services as “Demonstrate the ability to interpret, recognize, appreciate, and understand information presented through visible actions, objects and symbols, natural or man-made.” Visual Literacy is a vital skill as advancing technology changes the way we are presented with information from traditional print to infographics and interactive sources. Graphic novels train your brain to merge both words and images to get the full story, building a skill set that can then be applied to other visual information sources.

With so many to choose from I hope you will give graphic novels a try, there is one out there that will match your interests. I’d be happy to recommend some to you (I promise they will not all be Batman) and I can be reached at or at Main Library


Katie Widener, a Burlington native, attended U of L and UK before becoming a Reference Librarian at Main Library in 2011.  She is the adult graphic novel collection selector for BCPL and is only slightly less obsessed with Batman than the Joker.  In fact, Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) being a librarian for Gotham City Public Library was one of the things that inspired her to become a librarian.