Reviving a service, library will soon bring books and movies to homebound readers

oe Lanier of New London peruses the Waterford Public Library’s movie collection on Oct. 25. Along with books, audiobooks and magazines, the movies are now available for delivery to people who cannot visit the library. (Martha Shanahan / The Day)
oe Lanier of New London peruses the Waterford Public Library’s movie collection on Oct. 25. Along with books, audiobooks and magazines, the movies are now available for delivery to people who cannot visit the library. (Martha Shanahan / The Day)

The books, movies and magazines at the Waterford Library are soon going to be available on wheels.

Following in the footsteps of several other local libraries, Waterford library director Roslyn Rubinstein said they will start enlisting volunteers with the Thames Valley Council for Community Action to deliver library materials for free to town residents who can’t leave their homes.

Reviving the service, which the library provided decades ago, has been on the library staff’s wishlist for years, she said. TVCCA’s involvement means elderly and disabled people who cannot come to the library will still be able to spend this winter reading at home.

“We’ve been thinking about getting it back up and running,” Rubinstein said. “The timing couldn’t be better with the winter season coming.... It’s just (eliminating) the feeling being alone, and not having a comforting book to read.”

Patrons can call the library to sign up or visit to fill out a questionnaire asking their preferences and their addresses. Volunteers with TVCCA’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program will deliver the books, magazines or movies the patrons request to their door, starting at about once a month.

The frequency of the deliveries could increase if the program is successful, she said.

“It’s another way for the library to serve the entire community,” she said. “To be able to provide them with library materials is just wonderful.”

Volunteers in Waterford with RSVP, who are age 55 and older and conduct home visits and errands for homebound residents of New London and Windham counties, will deliver books to their own interested clients as well as people who sign up for deliveries through the library, RSVP director Jennifer Johnson said.

Patrons can specify what genre of books or movies they like, whether they want books with large type and how many items they would like delivered, she said, and library staff will put together a package of things that fit those criteria each month, Rubinstein said.

People can also request a specific book or author.

“It’s a very personalized service,” she said. “We’ll have everything ready; we’ll have a bag set to go.”

The program is meant for those library patrons who cannot get to the library for any reason, not as a convenience for busy patrons, she cautioned.

Library staff began to advertise the program last week, and several patrons have expressed interest, she said. Waterford residents interested in signing up can call (860) 444-5805 to get a library card, if necessary, and an application.

Anyone age 55 and older who wants to volunteer with RSVP can call (860) 425-6617.

m.shanahan@theday.com

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