• By Don Dwiggins
  • Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Taking the Library to the Homebound and Institutionalized

If the truth be told Jackie Jones and Mary Dula are two Library staff members who can't wait to leave the office each day and they usually do so by 10:30 am. It's not because they don't enjoy their work---they do---but rather the nature of their job leads them out of their office and into the community each day.

Welcome to Forsyth County Public Library's Adult Outreach Department and the world of Jackie Jones and Mary Dula. For all the people who visit our Library each day there are many unable to do so, such as those residing in retirement communities and nursing facilities, senior citizens still living independently but who are unable to come to the Library, those whose disabilities make Library visits impractical, or those in Dentention Centers. These are all customers served by our Adult Outreach department.

Adult Outreach provides a variety of library materials to customers including large print books and magazines as well as a selection of popular movies and audiobooks. "A typical day in Adult Outreach starts with a look at our calendar to see the stops scheduled for the day," says Jones." We then gather pre-selected books and materials for those visits as well as other materials we think a customer would enjoy."

Each day means a different route and different people to greet. In recent years their list of customers has grown so much that they can only make one stop per month at most locations. "I used to have customers where we had to sit down and have a cup of coffee and some cookies every time we visited," says Jones. "It was just part of the job. As our service has grown that is no longer possible to do. "

Occasionally a customer will not be home during their visit but that doesn't mean they will miss out on receiving new library materials. "If they know they will not be home during our visit they will put their books to be returned in a bag outside the door. We'll take their bag and leave new books in their place."

After 29 years of service in Adult Outreach Jones will be retiring at the end of 2015 but taking a multitude of fond memories with her. "I truly have learned a lot from my Seniors and that is how I have gotten to where I am now," she says. "Working with seniors has taught me how to age with grace and how to be able to let go."

Adult Outreach Service Areas

  • Rest Homes
  • Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living Centers
  • Independent Living Homes and Apartments
  • Continuing Care retirement Communities
  • Senior Lunch Program Sites
  • Dentention Centers

Adult Outreach also hosts Welcome to Medicare programs in conjunction with the Shepherd's Center of Greater Winston-Salem throughout the year at Branch Library locations.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a customer of our Adult Outreach Department please call 703-2959 or 703-2958.

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