When the library reopened, we noticed a trend: Returning patrons were mostly middle age or younger. What happened to our senior citizens? Not surprisingly, many of them are COVID-cautious. They’re simply avoiding trips. The library offers contactless curbside pickup, too, but transportation can be an issue.
The library is now delivering bins of books to senior living facilities. We’re working hard to ensure everyone in the community can still access library services, especially the most vulnerable. Reading is more than a pastime for seniors – it’s a critical part of their health. Research shows people who read as they age have better cognition skills, reduced stress and better sleep habits. They’re more satisfied with life, too. Some researchers believe reading can delay Alzheimer’s.
Librarians fill bins with a variety of books and deliver them to the senior facility. Books can be quarantined for 96 hours for the residents’ safety. We swap out the bins after a few weeks. The service is thanks to a new policy by the Hudson Area Public Library Board of Trustees. The policy provides an institutional card option. Some examples of what institutions qualify for the card: day cares, schools, churches, hospital departments, group homes and other congregate living facilities. The card works essentially the same as a regular patron card, but it allows a four-week checkout instead of three weeks. Delivery isn’t an automatic feature, but we’ll do our best to work with any organization that needs assistance.
If you have questions about this program or would like to find out more about Institutional Library Cards, please contact us at 715.386.3101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.