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Rain, snow, sleet or shine, recipients of the Mahomet Public Library’s Homebound Delivery Service are sure to receive their library resources right on time. Despite the cold weather and snow we received last Thursday, library volunteer, Ron Prescott was out delivering books and other resources to the Homebound Delivery Service patrons.
The Homebound Delivery Service is a library program for library patrons who are unable to use the library in the traditional manner such as senior citizens who may not be able to drive themselves to the library or an individual who has just had surgery. In some cases, the books being delivered may be for a caregiver who is unable to get to the library, due to caring for a sick or elderly loved one.
Residents at The Glenwood Assisted Living Home also receive materials from the Homebound Delivery Service.
“Some of our residents check in at the office throughout the afternoon on the day the books are delivered. It’s something they look forward to,” Connie Barrowman, director of the Glenwood Assisted Living Home, said.
She said residents enjoy interacting with the library staff and volunteers, but most of all, they anticipate getting their books.
The program has been around for more than a decade and is coordinated by two staff members at the Mahomet Public Library, library assistants Karen Huber and Judy Pennington. They work directly with the volunteer team and the patrons. When new patrons sign-up for the service, they receive a welcome letter, as well as a reader advisory form. The reader advisory form helps the staff become familiar with each patron’s preferences. They may elect to receive up to 10 items for each delivery and there are a number of genre and format options. For example, under fiction, they can choose cozy mystery, mild romance and best sellers, just to name a few and then they have eight more options to choose from under nonfiction, in addition to selecting an overall favorite author. They may also opt to receive large print items, audiobooks, magazines and music.
“Some patrons also pass notes to us when they return their books with requests or call and talk to us on the phone,” Huber said. Huber estimated that the service delivers approximately 57 books each month through program.
“With the state budget crisis and its impact on libraries many libraries are no longer running their home service programs. In some cases this has been caused due to the lack of volunteers. We’ve been fortunate enough to maintain our program largely because of our great volunteers,” Huber said. Ron Prescott and Mary Feigl are the delivery volunteers for the program.They make deliveries for the library every other Thursday. Prescott, a retired science teacher from Urbana, said he thought it would be a great way to support the library.
“I love libraries. The Mahomet Library is the best little library in the USA. We have such great libraries in our communities. I think it’s good to support them and I thought this would be a way I could help out.”
Marian Wiley, resident at The Glenwood, is one of the recipients on Prescott’s delivery route.
“I enjoy reading suspense and mystery novels,” Wiley said. “In my hometown of West Lafayette, I was a volunteer myself at the library and my Mom was on the library board,” she continued.
“They used to sing this song about me called ‘Marian the Librarian,’ and said I was sure to become a librarian, but I got married instead. Keeping that connection with the library is important to me, and it’s nice to have a human voice to talk to when I call there. So many places you call nowadays you don’t get to talk to a real person.”
Anyone in the library’s tax district may receive the delivery service.
If you or someone you know would benefit from the Homebound Delivery Service Program, the library may be contacted directly at (217) 586-2611.
The Mahomet Public Library is located at 1702 E. Oak St. Mahomet, IL.