Libraries face a special challenge in serving people in the community who cannot readily visit the library. During the course of a two-year accessibility project, North Texas Regional Library System discovered that a significant number of homebound people desperately need access to library materials and services. In FY 2011 NTLP was awarded a Special Projects Grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and partnered with three member libraries for the development, implementation and evaluation of services for homebound populations.
- Denton Public Library serves a population of over 100,000 and tested the Netflix model of delivering materials to homebound individuals by mail.
- Alvarado Public Library, serving a small rural community, partnered with Meals on Wheels for delivery and used outreach staff to reach other homebound residents.
- Haltom City Public Library has been providing homebound services since 1999 and planned to expand its current program through increased marketing efforts, establishing a virtual branch at the Senior Center, and by expanding services to include Richland Hills cardholders.
At the end of the project, NTLP gave a workshop presentation and developed an online toolkit based on the experiences, marketing efforts, policies, and procedures developed by the pilot libraries to serve as a model for libraries wanting to form homebound programs. NTLP and the pilot libraries also shared experiences, challenges and success stories throughout the year on the project blog.
For more information, contact NTLP.