Services for Homebound Patrons: Part 2

Once you’ve decided which services you want to offer to homebound patrons, how do you find the people who might qualify and are interested in these services?  Homebound patrons aren’t going to be coming through the doors of the library, so how do you get the information out to them?

Some groups and government entities that may be able to help spread the word about the services you are offering include:

Disability Groups
Libraries for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Meals-on-Wheels
North Dakota Human Services
Religious Institutions
Senior Centers
Support Groups
Veterans Affairs
VFW Halls

Some of them may even be willing/able to help get the items to the homebound patrons while delivering their own services.  Depending on your community, there are probably many other ways to get the information out, but this is just to give you a launching point.

Also, make sure to utilize your city’s newspaper and calendar of events to get the information out to those who have a need for your services, along with getting it on the radio and on the community access channel on television, if possible.

A toolkit that you may find helpful when starting a homebound program is the Homebound Program Toolkit.  This document gives advice on the pros and cons of the different delivery methods, policy development, planning the program, and marketing the program.  It also includes forms that you will probably need when setting up the program, including a reader profile, participant application, and route schedule log.

Also, a great resource for your patrons (whether they are homebound or not) who are unable to read standard print materials due to a visual, physical, or reading disability is the Talking Books program.  If you or your patrons have any questions, you can find more information available online (http://library.nd.gov/talkingbooks.html) or by calling 1-701-328-1408 or 1-800-843-9948.

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