Monticello library offers homebound delivery program

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     For those area residents who are homebound and unable to leave the house for a variety of reasons, the Monticello Public Library has implemented a free service just for you.

     “Beyond the Walls” is the library’s new homebound delivery service, serving library card-holders within a 5-mile radius of Monticello.

     Whether permanent or temporary, the homebound service is available to those who are:

     • Temporary ill/disabled

     • Permanently disabled

     • Critically ill

     • Parents of multiples

     • Parents/caregivers of someone who is disabled/critically ill

     • Children who temporary qualify for homebound education services

     “Many homebound people just don’t get the chance to come to the library,” said MaDonna Kremer, Monticello librarian.

     The idea came about after the Monticello library started sending books to the Monticello Nursing and Rehab Center for their residents. Kremer said they just expanded the service for homebound residents.

     “A lot of other libraries do this,” she said. “It’s pretty widespread.”

     “Beyond the Walls” allows homebound residents with a good-standing library card to check out books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines by request. The materials will be checked out for two weeks, just like any other library patron, and will be checked out to the homebound individual directly. The library will have volunteers (and in some cases, a staff member) deliver the materials to the person’s physical home address. Two weeks later, the materials will be picked back up and dropped off at the library.

     Individuals can request certain materials, too, by visiting the library’s card catalog online, calling the library, or asking library staff to select materials based on the patron’s registration form information.

     Kremer said after having twins herself, she found it hard to even leave the house to run to the store, let alone the library.

     “Your entire day is wrapped up taking care of your kids,” she said. “Non-essentials like the library don’t fit in.”

     If the homebound resident wishes, they can also designate a family member or friend to have access to their library card to check out and delver/pick up materials versus a library volunteer.

     With the volunteers, all library materials will be kept confidential and delivered/picked up in a concealed bag, to maintain the library patron’s privacy.

     “We are quite mindful of one’s privacy and what they’re reading or checking out,” said Kremer.

     She pointed out that if the pick-up/delivery schedule causes the library materials to be overdue, there would be no charge to the homebound patron.

     “You will be notified two days ahead of time to confirm pick up and delivery,” she said.

     Volunteers will be instructed to deliver and pick up materials from the person’s door; not entering the premises to do so.

     With the 5-mile radius, Kremer said the library didn’t want to over-extend its volunteers too much.

     If the homebound person is unable to come to the library to file for a library card or fill out the “Beyond the Walls” registration form, forms can be mailed out. Library cards will be delivered upon the first delivery of materials. At that time, you’ll be asked to produce a photo ID and proof of address.

     In addition to checking out physical materials from the library, homebound patrons will also have access to the library’s Bridges program containing ebooks and audio books available online.

     “You can request large-print books,” encouraged Kremer.

     The start of the “Beyond the Walls” program depends on how many people and how quickly people sign up. Kremer would like to offer deliveries by the first of November.

     For more information or to sign up, call the library at 319-465-3354.


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