Homebound will now have access to books
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. Charles W. Elliot But books are not accessible to all - and that's something the Kitchigami Regional Lib...
Books are the quietest
and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Elliot
But books are not accessible to all - and that's something the Kitchigami Regional Library intends to amend.
The Senior Outreach Program, delivering library materials to homebound patrons, will soon be offered in Hubbard and Cass counties.
Program coordinator Theresa Harsha is recruiting volunteers - to deliver books and videos - and patrons - individuals and senior housing institutions - for the countywide program to be launched this spring.
A state grant funded the pilot program in Wadena and Crow Wing counties in 2007. The KRL board, based on community response, decided to expand the Senior Outreach Program this year.
There's no age requirement, Harsha explained. Eligibility is based on homebound versus mobile. All that's required is a library card.
Volunteers will deliver library books, audio books with players and videos to homes where they will be left for a month for patrons to enjoy. At month's end, the volunteer will arrive with new material, returning books and videos to the library at no cost.
Seniors will be asked to name favorite authors and topics on the application.
Initially, "Senior Sack" delivery will be arranged by topic: fiction by popular authors; non-fiction; biographies and political and world events; romance; health; popular Christian authors; cozy mysteries (as opposed to gory); wars and westerns.
But once the program is established, deliveries can be tailored to the patron's specific choices.
Books are in large or regular print, based on client preference.
Senior institutions - apartments, assisted living facilities and nursing homes - are also invited to "book" the service.
The Senior Tote will hold eight large print books, four DVDs and four audio books with players.
Institutions receiving a Senior Tote will be responsible for distribution and the return of materials.
Libraries will maintain a reading record for each patron to avoid duplication, Harsha explained.
To apply, individuals may contact the Park Rapids Area Library at 732-4966 or head to www.krls.org and download an application. Institutions should contact the library for an application.
Volunteer forms will also be available at the library. Service clubs are welcome to apply. KRL is encouraging volunteers to spend a few minutes with seniors when dropping off materials, to build a relationship.
KRL will also be partnering with Meals on Wheels to deliver the packets.
KRL is responding to what's seen as a continuing need, Harsha said. By 2030, older people 65-plus will constitute nearly a quarter of the population, up from 13 percent in 2000.
The program is expected to be up and running by late spring.
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.
Reasons to read:
-Reading is an active mental process, forcing you to reason out many things which may be unfamiliar. In the process, those grey cells in the brain are exercised.
-Reading improves your vocabulary.
-Digesting books gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places in the world. Readers gain insight into the diversity of ethnicity.
-Perusing pages improves concentration and focus, like exercise improves the muscles.
-Reading builds self-esteem; with knowledge comes confidence.
-Turning pages improves memory. Studies show if you don't use it, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer's. Reading stretches memory muscles in a similar way.
-Reading is a form of discipline. Add reading to your daily schedule - and stick to it.
-Deciphering the written word enhances creativity. Reading about diversity of life and exposing yourself to new ideas develops the creative side of the brain and imbibes innovation in the thinking process.
-Picking up a book reduces boredom. Reading sweeps you off to foreign lands and introduces you to new ideas and people. You'll bid farewell to tedium.
-And you will always have something to talk about...