Check out this program: Books come to you
Every month, Estacada Adult Services Librarian Leslie Pearson brings a selection of books to Eleanor Spink at Whispering Pines Senior Village.
Spink is a participant in the Estacada Public Library's library-to-your-door program, which connects homebound Estacada residents with books and other items from the library.
Pearson, who organizes the program at the Estacada library, believes the service is a valuable way to connect with people who might not otherwise have a relationship with the library.
"The service reminds me that readers don't stop reading. They treasure it, and this is the best way we can help them so they don't lose that treasure," she said.
Though the library-to-your-door program had 13 participants in the past, Spink is now the only one enrolled. Additionally, the program does not have any volunteer drivers other than Pearson.
The service is open to anyone with mobility challenges, such as a broken leg, if they live within a five-mile radius of Estacada city limits. Pearson said it's mainly senior citizens who have shown interest in the program in the past.
"The majority of people have been from Whispering Pines or 300 Main, but we have helped patrons who went through surgery and are recuperating," she said.
Pearson attributes the lower participation numbers in the program to several different factors. Some people have moved away from the Estacada area, and others recovering from injuries have gotten better and are once again able to visit the library. Additionally, she noted, many seniors are still able to make it to the library.
But Pearson said there are likely some in the Estacada area who might benefit from the library-to-your-door program who are not aware of it.
"We're trying to get the word out," she said. "There are a lot of other people out there that we could help this way."
Those who are interested in participating in the program fill out an application that asks about their favorite genres, authors, movies or music. Then, library staff find materials for participants and deliver them once a month.
Those interested in signing up to receive materials from the library or volunteer for the program can visit www.cityofestacada.org/library/page/outreach or call the library at 503-630-8273.
Spink said she's been enrolled in the program for about five years. She appreciates being able to receive new books without having to venture to the library.
"I don't walk well outside, so I won't walk to get books," she said. "(Leslie) is a good substitute."
Spink mainly enjoys reading Christian fiction.
"I like good books that don't have a lot of swearing in them," she said.
Pearson noted that the connections are a particularly valuable aspect of the library-to-your-door program.
"There's that connection when the books are brought by me or a volunteer. They have the feeling that they're still connected to the library and part of our community," she said.
For Pearson, it's these connections that differentiate the library-to-your-door program from smartphone apps that allow users to download books instantaneously.
"It's a much more holistic approach than downloading an ebook," she said.
Pearson enjoys working with the library-to-your-door program.
"I like going out and meeting the patrons," she said. "It's a lot of fun."
She noted that Spink often sends her home with baked goods.
"That's always touching, and makes me happy. We have really good conversations about authors, reading and books. (We talk about how) publishing isn't the same as it used to be, and how the publishing world has changed," Pearson said. "The conversation is important. In some ways, it's maybe more important than the books themselves."
To learn how to receive books or volunteer for Estacada's library-to-your-door program, visit www.cityofestacada.org/library/page/outreach or call the library at 503-630-8273.