For several years now the Delta County Libraries have been working in conjunction with Heaven's View Apartments, Crossroads Assisted Living and Willow Tree Care Center to bring the joy of reading and technology to the seniors of Delta County. The program started in 2010 when Gwen Hillis, assistant librarian, began taking books to the Heaven's View Apartments on a monthly basis.
"This was convenient for the residents as they did not have the ability to visit the library. At first I was not sure what to expect, but after a few months we declared every other Tuesday as Library Day, recalled Hillis. "The seniors loved it, and even started placing orders for their favorite books and genres!"
After seeing the success at Heaven's View, Crossroads Assisted Living and Willow Tree Center were added to the schedule. Near the same time Rhonda Duclo began working with Horizons Healthcare and Retirement Community. Librarian Markee Travis has since expanded this work, with reading times and iPad training.
Every other week the library staff gather up a laptop with scanner and several boxes of mostly large print books, audio and requested materials. A mini-library is set up at each location where the residents can view and select their titles. "This is one of our favorite outreaches," declared Hillis. "It is truly rewarding to see the residents' eyes light up as they retell the stories they have read, or see the next book in their now favorite series. We make a conscious effort to keep track of everything they are reading, and try to pick books that are to their liking. Some of them have actually joined in on the adult summer reading programs so they can win books and prizes."
Mark Deskin, manager of Heaven's View, could not agree more. "The service the library provides at Heaven's View Senior Apartments is outstanding. For clients who don't drive and can't get to the library, having Gwen come to us two times per month with books is a lifesaver!" Heddy Smith, 104-year-old resident at Heaven's View, is also grateful. "I really think it is a wonderful thing. I'm wheel chair bound and it's really a pleasure to get books to read."
"All of the library assistants involved get as much out of this as the residents," says Mary Dingman, Delta librarian. "The library is not about the books, but the people who read them and the places that book can take them. It is truly a blessing that we have the opportunity to do this for the community."blog comments powered by Disqus