“Libraries are for everyone” is the unofficial motto of the Vernon Area Public Library District, and that includes residents who are unable to visit the library in person due to illness, disability or mobility challenges.
“If you can’t come to us, we will come to you,” explained Latha Manickavasagam, Vernon Area Library Senior Services Coordinator.
This service is free and available to anyone living in the Vernon Area library district who has a mobility issue, regardless of whether they live in a retirement center, assisted living facility or private residence.
Thirteen senior and assisted living centers are located within the library’s service area, which includes all of Lincolnshire, large portions of Long Grove and Buffalo Grove, and portions of surrounding communities including Vernon Hills.
When signing up, the person tells the library what sorts of things they would like to get from the library: books, movies, magazines or music. They share past favorites so library staff have a sense of their reading or viewing preferences.
Then library staff select items from the shelves and hand-deliver them. As library staff get to know each resident, selections become more personal. “It’s like having a good friend pick things out for you,” said Janice Kellman, Vernon Area Library’s Head of Community Engagement.
Library staff visit each one every three weeks, going room-to-room to deliver library materials and good cheer. Every so often, deliveries include a little something extra: just-for-fun word games or other puzzles, or craft supplies and instructions.
Currently, 140 local residents receive library materials this way.
Library staff also maintain a “mini library” at each of the senior centers. They stock it with books that have been withdrawn from the shelves, often extra copies of recent sellers that are no longer needed. “This ensures that withdrawn books are effectively repurposed and put back into the community. It is especially beneficial for slow readers who prefer to have access to reading materials without having to request them every time, allowing them to enjoy reading at their own pace,” said Manickavasagam.
To sign up, call 224-543-1406, email senior@VAPLD.info, or fill out the form at VAPLD.info/delivery.