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Bringing the library to readers

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 11:25 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 11:55 a.m. CDT

MALTA – Peggy Wogen thought it would be nice to offer patrons of the Malta Township Public Library a way to get their materials even if they can’t get to the library.

Earlier this month, Wogen, the library director, posted on the library’s Facebook page: “we can deliver and pick up books, movies, and music CDs to you (no fee for the service).”

“I have been thinking about it for a couple of years,” Wogen said. “Since we’re an aging community and we had more people unable to get in, we made an offer (to deliver), but no one took us up on it.”

Many DeKalb County residents have the option to have library materials delivered to their home if they are temporarily or permanently unable to get to the library. Most libraries do not publicize the service, but offer it on an as-needed basis.

“A handful of times I have delivered some things to people after they have had surgery,” said Heather Black, assistant director of the Cortland Community Library.

The DeKalb Public Library has a formal Outreach Services program. Outreach Services director Beatrice O’Connell coordinates free delivery and pick-up of materials throughout DeKalb, delivers specialized materials for blind and hearing-impaired patrons, and helps patrons download e-books from the library’s website to tablet readers at home.

“I go to the high-rise (Golden Years Plaza), and all the retirement homes and nursing homes, and about a dozen shut-ins,” O’Connell said. “If they can’t make it to the library, we will bring the library to them.”

The Outreach Services program at the DeKalb Public Library started in the 1970s after library leaders applied for and received a grant, O’Connell said.

The program was successful enough to become permanent.

The Kirkland and Sycamore libraries also deliver upon request.

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