GALLIPOLIS — Bossard Memorial Library is looking to add people to its roster of individuals seeking home delivery material in the institution’s never-ending quest to promote reading.
According to Bossard Memorial Library Director Debbie Saunders, the library has engaged in the program for more than 20 years.
“We’ve had a home-bound delivery program for many years here at the library, ” Saunders said. “I wanted to share that to raise awareness in the community in case there were people that weren’t aware that we have it. We offer home-bound delivery of library materials to qualified patrons on a bi-weekly basis. So, every two weeks we go out to these patrons’ homes.”
For patrons to be qualified as home-bound material recipients, they must meet one of the following criteria: Individuals must be considered disabled, lacking transportation or home-bound elderly.
“This program is designed for those people who are not able to make it to the physical building,” Saunders said. “We take the library to them.”
Saunders said the library personalizes the experience as it has two individuals on staff dedicated to administering the program. Saunders said potential patrons can fill an application available online or grab a hard copy from the library itself. Library team members verify applicants meet the fulfilled requirements.
”If they qualify, we contact them,” Saunders said. “One of our team members will go out and contact them by phone or sometimes give them a home visit. They try to get to know (the patron) a little bit as far as their interests; what kind of authors they like; are they readers of fiction? Maybe they like mystery. Maybe they like to listen to books on CD.”
Saunders said library team members make an attempt to familiarize themselves with patrons to provide a personalized reading experience. She said sometimes team members may be the only person a library patron may see during the week, so it is important to provide a “friendly hello” while promoting reading.
“We get to know what their likes are,” Saunders said. “They can request things from the library. We bring them a personalized bag of materials. We wanted to announce to the public in case anyone didn’t know that we did do this and encourage people to reach out to us.”
Saunders said that once a team leader gets to know a patron, suggestions might start being offered to them, especially if they have repeatedly asked for specific authors. The program is somewhat similar, however older, than the music streaming service Pandora, which is known for suggesting music types to its users.
For more information, contact the library at (740) 446-7323.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.