DID YOU KNOW … Your neighborhood Bienville Parish Library has Adult Outreach Services? What is that you ask? Well, homebound or elderly Bienville Parish Library patrons who are unable to visit the library can request books, audiobooks, and special book requests to be delivered to them every couple of weeks.
What makes a good candidate for outreach services? A Bienville Parish Library patron recovering from surgery or has had an extended illness that prevents them from driving, could request to be placed on the schedule until they are fully recovered. Also, the senior patron, that is no longer is driving or has a medical condition or an illness that prevents them from visiting the library can request library outreach services.
“If anyone is interested in being placed on the delivery schedule,” says Jackie Cato, Adult Outreach Services Coordinator, “They’ll need to call me and answer a few questions. I’ll ask what their needs are, and how long they might need the service.” Book baskets are delivered to homes on a regular schedule, about every two weeks. “During the interview, I’ll find out what kinds of genres they like to read and gather a nice variety for them to select from.” Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Adult Outreach Service is still a no-contact service. “Most of the time patrons on the outreach schedule will call and request books from the new book list or request books from their favorite authors,” says Cato. “Or I’ll give them a call and see if they’re ready for another delivery.” On delivery day, Ms. Cato picks up the book “returns” and replaces it with another basket of reading materials. “With the COVID protocols in place, we can’t visit like we used to, but we still wave to each other from a safe distance!”
Outreach Services is also responsible for borrowing materials for patrons through Interlibrary Loan and coordinates special adult events and performances at the Library and throughout the parish. “Everything changed with COVID,” Cato laments, “We haven’t had any live events for over a year. Our seasonal events last year were all virtual and placed on our YouTube™ channel. We will begin in mid-April with Adult BINGO. It’ll be limited to ten players and all state COVID rules will be observed. But I think we’ll still have a lot of fun!”
If you or a family member would like to be added to the delivery schedule, or if you have questions about any of the Adult Outreach Services offered, contact Jackie Cato at (318) 263-7410 extension 5.