As we’ve discussed many times in this column, today’s libraries are vibrant community centers where local residents can learn, find information, make connections, and have fun.
We are in a unique position to offer lifelong learning opportunity and social engagement activities for all ages.
This doesn’t exist just in the library’s facilities.
Our staff is taking the library’s service out to the community so that even those who cannot visit the Library physically can benefit from everything we have to offer.
As part of its new Strategic Plan, the Neuse Regional Library’s (NRL) new redesigned Outbound Services initiative is one example of the library transcending its walls to serve our community by developing culturally diverse programming that attracts and engagesthe entire community.
Outbound Services provides personalized delivery of materials to residents at Assisted Living facilities biweekly, but more importantly connects with seniors through quality programming and engagement activities.
Charlene Sanderson, the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library Outbound Services Coordinator works closely with Activity Directors at assisted living facilities in Lenoir County to ensure programming plans take in account the self-expressed needs and interests of residents.
Charlene who is the heart and soul of this outreach initiative plans and implements a wide array of programming from poetry readings, arts and crafts, to the ever popular, Bingo Challenge Quest.
However, more than anything Charlene has built lasting friendships with residents who look forward to her visits, and appreciate her kind spirit.
“When the library comes for their visits we have fun learning about new things through trivia and reading stories. I really enjoy Charlene coming to spend time with us,” said Mike Laforge, a resident of Spring Arbor.
B.B. Lawson, another resident, agrees: “The time with the library has been such a positive experience here at Spring Arbor. For those of that can’t drive or don’t have a car, it is nice to know that Charlene will deliver us books that we want to read and come pick them up.”
It’s not just in Kinston that our Libraries are engaging in these activities.
At the Greene County Public Library, Branch Manager Donna Edwards visits Snow Hill Assisted Living and Greendale Forest to engage in crafts, riddles, and other participatory projects and activities with residents.
Pink Hill Public Library Branch Manager Sheree Casias visits groups that range from two- to three-year-old daycares to the Lenoir County Council on Aging and the Wellness Center in Pink Hill to engage in similar activities and bring books from the Library’s collection.
The Library is committed to being wherever we are needed in the community.
Whether connecting people with resources or with one another, Outbound Services is one example of how the NRL is dedicated to lifelong learning and collaboration, and we hope to continue investigate new ways to connect with our community members who have been under served, and grow the Outbound Services program to reach every county throughout our region.