It’s a selfless act by one person that delivers the world to another. The Palmerston North Library Home Service volunteers do just that. Once a month, around 30 volunteers regularly collect and deliver hand-selected books to over 80 people who are unable to visit the Library and who have no one to select books for them.
The knock on the door, a friendly smile and a canvas bag of books can often be the highlight of a day for the recipients. New friendships have been forged between the appreciative customer and their regular volunteer.
Wendy McTaggart is one of the library’s volunteers. It’s a role she has undertaken for the last three years. Twice a month she drives to the library’s basement garage to collect named satchels of books carefully selected by library staff who match genre and print size with the reader’s needs. The number of books they receive is also optional it could range from 2 – 20.
It only takes Wendy an hour to undertake her deliveries. Some people leave their satchels at their door for swapping, perhaps preferring no contact. Others are eagerly awaiting her visit and to share some stories from when they last met and discuss the books they have read.
One of Wendy’s regulars is Annabel Tutiett, a rest home resident who has always been a regular reader. She particularly enjoys books about war time. She greets Wendy like a friend with laughter and smiles, encouraging her to take a seat to chat.
Another lady Wendy visits in the same rest home is just about to turn 103. Recent changes to her eyesight however means the option of audio books may soon replace the print versions. This is an option the library is happy to organise.
Anyone unable to visit the Library due to a disability, or inability to drive can receive books through the Home Delivery Service. It can be either long term or short term, perhaps when recovering from surgery. It is also available for all ages and for those living in retirement homes.
If anyone wants to receive books, knows someone who would benefit from the service, library staff are happy to assist. It may seem like a small thing to do, but it can make a big difference to someone’s life.