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 her, 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

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.