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Books brought to your door

People have relied on books to provide entertainment and education for hundreds of years and public libraries have supported these needs for almost as long. However, not everyone in Minot is able to make it to the library to check out books.

Fortunately, the Special Services program at the Minot Public Library assists these people by delivering materials to individuals who live in Minot and are unable to come to the library. The Minot Public Library delivers books and audiobooks monthly to people who are homebound, have a visual or physical disability or who are living in an assisted living or extended care facility.

Lacey Possen, the Library Associate in charge of the Special Services program, says that the library “has a large variety of materials to choose from including books on CD, large print and regular print books (in both fiction and nonfiction) and even music CDs” for Minot residents to choose from. After an initial phone interview with people interested in signing up for this program (or their caregivers) Possen then selects materials every month based on the individual’s interests and library volunteers or staff then deliver the books.

Materials are delivered directly to the patron’s residence once a month on the first three Thursdays of every month. Materials are picked up the following month when new items are delivered. Minot Public Library Director Janet Anderson says that this program would not be possible without the support of library volunteers. “We are extremely lucky to have such dedicated volunteers who deliver bags of items to our Special Service patrons each month in all kinds of weather and road conditions,” says Anderson.

In addition to the Homebound Delivery service, patrons of the Minot Public Library can also take advantage of the “Talking Book” service through the North Dakota State Library. Like the Homebound Delivery services, this program is specifically for individuals with special needs. According to the North Dakota State Library: “Talking Books offer an array of services for citizens of North Dakota who are unable to read standard print materials because of a visual, physical, or reading disability.”

Possen explains that this program provides individuals who are physically or visually impaired with free access to talking books and magazines. She says that “the eligible individuals receive a digital player from the North Dakota School for the Blind and every few weeks the State Library mails out books or magazines on a digital cartridge.” This service and the equipment are available free of charge for qualified individuals. For more information on this program you can contact the North Dakota State Library at 1-800-843-9948.

The Minot Public Library also wants to assist the seniors in the community by providing technology education. MPL Technology Coordinator Joshua Pikka is excited to again be offering ‘Tech. Ed. at the Parker’ the first Thursday of every month from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm at the Parker Senior Center. “This free, drop-in support is for anyone who has questions about electronic devices and who needs any sort of help with basic technology needs,” Pikka explained. Pikka said that as more and more communication, information, and entertainment requires some level of technical skills he thinks it’s important to provide personal service and support. Library cards are not required for Tech. Ed. at the Parker, but MPL patrons can sign up for a one-on-one session with staff at the Library through the Tech. Tutor program if they want a little more assistance.

As Minot heads into fall and eventually winter, the Minot Public Library wants citizens to know that services are available outside the building for those unable to come to the Library. If you or anyone you know is interested in taking part in any of the Special Services offered by the Minot Public Library or are interested in volunteering to deliver books once a month please call (701) 852-1045 and ask for Lacey or Zhaina.

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