Monday, August 17, 2015

Pop-Up Senior Library Pilot

Once a month, a couple of WoW! librarians load up 200 items into a WoW! car and hit the road.  We’re taking our services inside several senior residences in the county – bringing library services to people who cannot always make it to a local branch on their own. 
It all started with this question: how can we better serve the seniors in our community?  The FCPLCommunity Bookmobile had been visiting a number of senior residences.  It seemed like such a simple idea of taking the services of the Bookmobile inside these locations.   We have six select locations that we are visiting during our pilot program.
The response has been fantastic.  We’ve made dozens of library cards for new users.  In some locations, we’re getting to more users because they no longer require a staff member to assist them outside to the Bookmobile – we come to them in their activities room!  We are building some great relationships with our new friends, some of whom are voracious readers. 
Our collection for this pilot program includes:  fiction, non-fiction, large print selections, audio books and DVDs.  Also included are New & Now selections (newly published and popular books). 

Each time we visit these locations, we spend time doing some one-on-one readers' advisory with the residents to find out what items they’d like to see us bring the following visit.  Many residents also make specific book requests each month, too.  These requests are delivered to WoW! and added to our collection of materials that we’ll take out that month. 

Some of our new friends face barriers to reading – physically holding a book or a visual impairment.  Each time we make a visit, we are coming across seniors who we can sign up for the Talking Book Library. Because we’re bringing our services inside to them, we’re able to talk to new people every time we visit, and figure out if there are ways for FCPL to provide some services to them.

So far, the Pop-Up Senior Libraries have been a great success, both for the library and for the seniors we're serving.  Response from the seniors and the staffs at the residences has been overwhelmingly positive.

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