National Library Outreach Day (April 7) is an opportunity to celebrate the dedicated professionals who take the Library out to the community, meeting patrons where they are. Whether it's a Bookmobile stop at a daycare center, delivery to a home, or a participating in a community event, these are essential aspects of Library service.
DML’s Outreach Service has a long, rich history! In fact, Electra C. Doren started one of the first book wagon services in the nation in 1923, delivering books to factory workers at lunchtime, and residents in outlying communities. Take a look at some fun, vintage photos showing the evolution of our Bookmobile, from our Dayton Remembers collection.
Today, DML’s Outreach Services include the Kids’ Bookmobile, Homebound Delivery, and Lobby Stop Service.
The Bookmobile visits schools, preschools and daycares, giving children the opportunity to borrow books they can keep until the Bookmobile returns. Staff lead storytimes and other activities to engage young children in reading and learning.
Homebound Delivery brings books, movies and music to adults who have difficulty leaving their homes. Whether the need is temporary or longterm, Homebound Delivery staff are happy to serve them, free of charge.
Lobby Stop Service sets up temporary browsing shelves in common areas of retirement or senior living communities. Residents can borrow items, including large and regular print books, DVDs, music CDs, and books on CD.
“We continued to provide Homebound Delivery during the pandemic, and we saw increased numbers of patrons sign up and participate in this service,” said Camee Hart, Outreach Services Manager. “The Bookmobile and Lobby Stop Services have been on hiatus, but Lobby Stops will resume in April, and hopefully our Bookmobile will be hitting the road again this summer.”
Outreach Services also include programming for older adults, such as technology instruction in the use of eReaders to access digital materials, and basic computer skills. Suzanne Kirchner, Older Adult Services Librarian, is eager to develop new programs that serve the needs and interests of older adults.
“I’d be delighted to chat with anyone about their needs, interests, and learning goals,” she said. “The best ideas for programs and services come from the community. ”
Library Outreach Day is part of National Library Week (April 4 - 10), which shines a light on the essential role libraries play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. Whether people visit virtually or in person, in the buildings or outside them, libraries are accessible, inclusive places that foster learning, discovery and exploration.