Public libraries reach out to seniors

Grandma

My grandmother couldn’t drive. She didn’t own a car and didn’t have much money. She loved to read, though, so she regularly walked the six blocks to the public library to borrow a stack of books. Eventually she became disabled and lost the ability to use the library. This was in the early sixties, long before libraries automated or expanded services by forming county-wide cooperatives.

Today most libraries offer outreach services to seniors. If you’re homebound or living in a care facility, they’ll deliver books in standard print, large print, or audio formats. They’ll send videos, music CDs, and magazines too. The particulars vary from one library to the next — some ship books via U.S. Postal Service at no charge while others recruit volunteers to deliver books.

My library offers an outreach service they call “senior memory kits” that contain videos, audios, songs, skits, and other items to help stimulate memories and discussion in memory care communities. Kits are available on different topics such as sports, movies, fishing, county fairs, and pets. The kit “Remembering Halloween,” for example, includes four books, three DVDs, one tablecloth, one witch’s hat, fifteen small plastic stencils, and a ghost.

If you or a loved one can’t get out to visit the library, I hope you’ll find out what outreach services your local library offers and sign up today.

Molly S.

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