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Special Deliver

Watertown Free Public Library program to get materials to those who can't get to the library

Can’t make it to the library, but need books or DVDs? Special Delivery from Watertown Free Public Library brings the library materials to you. Run entirely by volunteers, this weekly service is available just by calling the library’s reference desk at 617-972-6436.

Each Tuesday morning, volunteer Trudie Nemeth calls Special Delivery patrons to see what items they’d like. She notes their requests and suggests titles based on what they have read or watched previously and then checks their availability. She bundles selections for each borrower and turns them over to the library circulation staff for check out.

Wednesday mornings WCI (Work, Community Independence in Waltham) volunteers come with their staff driver to pickup deliveries. They drive to people’s homes, to Emerson Nursing Home and to Brigham House Assisted Living with books, DVDs and books on CD.  On the return trip these volunteers bring back all the materials Special Delivery patrons have used. WCI volunteers have been delivering library materials for almost 7 years, in all weather and all seasons. Photo shows WCI volunteers and staff, library staff and Trudie Nemeth (far right).

Trudie maintains a notebook for each of her Special Delivery patrons. In it are all the titles the person has already read and any notes on reading preferences, best time of day to call, etc. Trudie has been coordinating the Watertown program for over 10 years, but for many years directed a similar service in her hometown library in Auburn, Maine. There each volunteer was assigned a patron whose books they chose and delivered. 

Choosing materials for her clientele is Trudie’s favorite part of the job. She herself is a voracious reader and knows all the best sellers. On Tuesdays she likes to chat with her patrons about their own reading preferences and habits.

There are currently 19 patrons on the library’s Special Delivery list. Four of these people have been in the Special Delivery program for the entire 10 years Trudie has been directing it. Her patrons read romances, best sellers, mysteries, books about cats, books on personal finance, and cookbooks. One patron exclusively reads current magazines from the library – eight or 10 a week. Another requests only DVDs, particularly romantic comedies. A third listens to three books on CD a week – mysteries. Trudie knows their likes and dislikes and chooses accordingly.

Special Delivery is another of the many services that makes Watertown Free Public Library accessible to everyone.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Paul Angiolillo August 03, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Beverly, Thanks for writing a piece about this library program--I knew nothing about it. And it seems like a boon for everyone: the recipients, the volunteers, and the library--a win-win-win, as they say.

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