Library advances services


Joseph Pratt - For the Daily Times



The Portsmouth Public Library continues to serve patrons in a variety of ways, not just through brick-and-mortar locations, but in satellite locations and delivery services. Some of these services are revamping or improving and the organization wants the community aware of services they offer that may not be known about.

One service being grown and pushed further is the home delivery service, where people in the community sign up for a special card that allows them to receive books without leaving home. It is designed for people with health or mobility issues.

“It is great with home delivery,” Portsmouth Public Library’s Marketing Manager Katie Williams said. “A patron signs up for the program and they then actually meet with library staff, whether it is in person or by telephone, and they go over what format of items they would like. They’re also going to see what genre of library items they may want to pull from. They make a connection with patrons and ensure they get the right products into their hands.”

While the meeting sets up the relationship between patron and staff, patrons may also request specific books or genres at any given time.

“If, at one point, you’re really into crafting, we can adjust to that for a month and bring you plenty of crafting books until you go back to your regular formula the next month,” explained Williams.

Williams also explained that the Outreach Services Department is small and kept that way so that patrons get to know the coordinators.

“We get to a point where staff will see a new book come out and get excited, because they know of a patron who will really enjoy that book, so they put it in their queue,” said Williams.

The library delivers, not only to homes, but to nursing homes and other care facilities throughout the county.

Another service they provide, which is about to start its new season of tours, is the famous Bookmobile. The Bookmobile is the original method of book delivery for the organization, and it is a familiar site most are excited to see.

“On the Bookmobile, you will find everything: children’s book’s nonfiction and fiction, young adult, adult fiction and nonfiction, and we also have DVDs,” Williams said. “Another good thing about the book mobile, is that the books are in large print, so our readers in assisted living have no issues. People can even pick up their book holds at the book mobile—it is incredibly useful.”

The library has a calendar of stops that can be picked up at any location. The Bookmobile stops are bountiful, however, with places they visit all month long. The Bookmobile also has a mobile hotspot for anyone needing to hop onto an electronic device and may not have access to wifi.

“I love the Bookmobile. I think it is a great way for us to get out into the community, especially in places where we don’t have physical locations, so we are able to visit and serve everyone. Plus, there is just something about seeing the Bookmobile and being able to wave at it while staff give you a little honk as it goes by. Plus, the children just get really excited to see the Bookmobile,” Williams explained. “When kids come to us at the fair, they are always excited to let us know they see us at their schools.”

For more information about special delivery services offered by the library, visit them at 1220 Gallia Street or call 740.354.5688.

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Joseph Pratt

For the Daily Times