Home delivery makes library more accessible

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Love my library, By Norma Johnson-MacGregor

Online requests by seniors, disabled delivered right to the door by McLellan, Sinclair

Thanks to many staff members working “behind the scenes”, the library offers a number of great services to the community. One such is the home reader service, which we’re able to offer thanks to Janet McLellan, who looks after Truro and Bible Hill, and Sue Sinclair, who looks after the rest of Colchester and East Hants. McLellan was kind enough to answer a few questions about her position at the library in this short interview:

Q: Colchester-East Hants Public Library – What’s your schedule?

A: Janet McLellan – The home service delivery schedule is every three weeks on Tuesdays.


Q: CEHPL – How long has the library offered this service? How long have you worked in this job?

A: JM – I’ve been delivering books through the Home Delivery Program for about 18 years. The program was well established when I started, so it has been in place for 20 years at least!


Q: CEHPL – Describe the home reader service.

A: JM – The home delivery service was put in place to ensure people who couldn’t physically come to the library would have access to library materials. We create a user profile, which tells us what type of books and how many books a person might want each month. The home service department delivers to individual residences, continuing care facilities and assisted living apartments.


Q: CEHPL – Who would you say are your average users?

A: JM – There really isn't an “average” home service customer. We have seniors who aren’t driving anymore and physically can't carry their books. But we also have other age groups who for various health-related reasons can’t visit the library. With the ability to order material online, patrons can choose their own material if they desire.


Q: CEHPL – Will the service be expanding anytime soon?

A: JM – With an aging population on the rise, I think the service has the potential to become much larger. Seniors are living independently in their own homes at a much older age; assisted living options are also allowing our senior population another choice for housing. So having books and other library materials delivered, is another way seniors and other housebound members of the population can stay independent and not have to rely on family members and friends.


Q: CEHPL – What is your favorite part of the job?

A: JM – There are so many aspects of my job that I love! Feeling like I’m hopefully enhancing the quality of someone’s life is very rewarding. I just love to hear how they enjoyed (or hated) the books I delivered. We usually have a little chat and I'm on my way! In the larger facilities I get to know the recreation staff. I’m mostly known as the library lady and I'm fine with that!


Q: CEHPL – What happens to the home reader service when you go on vacation?

A: JM – When I go on vacation I try and make my deliveries before I go. If it isn’t possible, we have another staff member who is in charge of rural deliveries that can fill in for me.


Q: CEHPL – Do you have any closing thoughts?

A: JM – Libraries are constantly evolving to suit the needs of a changing world. Library outreach is so important and it’s our hope we can reach all those who want our services.

Norma Johnson-MacGregor is the electronic services librarian at the Colchester-East Hants Public Library. You can reach her at njohnson@cehpubliclibrary.ca.


Organizations: Colchester-East Hants Public Library

Geographic location: Hants, Bible Hill, Colchester Colchester-East

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