Lynn librarians are taking reading on the road with book deliveries

LYNN — Joyce Rickson loves to read and she was all smiles Thursday when Theresa Hurley, the city’s chief librarian, and co-worker Judy O’Blenes carried a canvas bag stuffed with books into Wall Plaza’s common room.

The housing complex is only a short walk from the North Common Street library, but Rickson and other older residents can’t always make the two-block walk so Hurley decided to come to them.

The library inaugurated its Homebound Delivery Service this month in response, Hurley said, to calls from Lynn residents who love to read but are restricted by health, transportation limitations or other reasons from getting to the library.

Hurley made the service’s first delivery on Wednesday, dropping six books off to a homebound Lynn resident.

“She likes James Patterson but no romances,” Hurley said.

The service is available to Lynn residents who are temporarily or permanently confined to their homes due to disability or illness.

Applications for the free service are available at the library. For more information, call 781-595-0567, extension 107.

The only requirement for eligibility for the service is possessing a Lynn library card “in good standing.”

Once the library receives a delivery application, a librarian will contact the resident and ask about their choices of books, movies, magazines and music they want and determine a suitable delivery time.

Deliveries are made monthly and the residents applying for delivery must be home and available to accept the delivery from a librarian.

Participating in the delivery service allows library patrons to check out books, audio books, movies, music and magazines for up to four weeks. Items may be renewed and fees will be charged for lost or damaged material.

Hurley and O’Blenes said the delivery service is a partial revival of the delivery service discontinued by the library 15 years ago when the city’s three branch libraries were closed. O’Blenes remembers a van formerly used by the library dropping 50-70 books off at local senior centers.

“People would ask for this book and that book. It’s about keeping your brain going,” O’Blenes said.

Hurley said the library should be able to drop off books to housing complexes like Wall Plaza as part of the delivery service. Rickson helped build up the Wall common room’s collection of roughly 100 books but she said the collection is overdue for refreshing.

“I like romance novels and autobiographies. A lot of people here enjoy reading,” she said.

Fellow resident Dolores LaBrasseur said her husband, Alan, will be thrilled to hear about the library delivery service.

“He reads everything,” she said.

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