Reaching out with your library | Sharon Lee

By SHARON LEE | Columnist

You may know people who might be interested in. and a candidate for. a new library service in our area called “Pickup Partners.”

There are patrons out there who want to read or listen to engaging titles, but can no longer get themselves to the library because of health concerns. It might be someone living in a care facility, a neighbor across the street, an acquaintance across town or a member of your own family.

If you reach out and offer to become a pickup partner to someone you know, then you can connect them to titles they are interested in and may bring color, intellectual engagement and light into their lives by simply delivering a bag of materials to them once a month.

We’re piloting this service in North Kitsap to see if it fills a need. If an adult patron is interested in this service, he or she needs to apply through Kitsap Regional Library’s website or fill out a print application at the Poulsbo branch. Once approved, a selector is assigned and a conversation about books, titles and interests begins.

The selectors for our area, Suzie, Kim and Rosie, regularly engage with patrons about books and reading interests over our service desk and look forward to expanding into this area. Each month, a customized selection of mysteries, best sellers, memoirs, adventure thrillers, science fiction and more in regular print, large type or audiobook formats will be gathered at the library for each assigned patron and placed in a bag. On a mutually agreed upon date, the designated partner comes in to pick up the bag filled with titles and delivers it to their patron’s home. At that point, the reading and enjoyment begins while the partner picks up the previous month’s selections and returns them to the library.

If you decide you want to reach out and make a difference in someone’s life, we’re here to help.

Pickup Partners At a Glance

Pickup Partners services are available to individuals with significant barriers to using their library location, including convalescing individuals, residents of retirement homes, adult care homes and assisted living facilities.

1. Patron selects partner and applies for service.

2. Application is vetted.

3. Patron is assigned to a selector.

4. Selector does an interview, sets pickup date, selects and prepares bag of material.

5. Partner picks up and delivers bag of material.

6. Four weeks later, the process repeats.

— Sharon Lee is manager of the Kitsap Regional Library Poulsbo branch.