ICPL has a number of services for those who are unable to come to the library. Among these are libraries maintained by the Community & Access Services department (CAS). As Outreach Assistant in CAS, part of my job is sending books to various retirement residences and social service agencies in the area. I also get to choose the books that are sent: this is the equivalent of turning a chocolate fanatic loose in a Godiva store and telling them their job is to pick out the best candies.
The Deposit Collection program, for instance, involves choosing books from ICPL’s large print collection, both fiction and nonfiction, which are then delivered by our Maintenance staff to participating retirement residences. It’s a great way for the residences to enhance their library collections with a regular supply of new titles. Each location has a designated staffperson or resident who is responsible for overseeing their library, keeping track of books and gathering them up at the end of the nine-week checkout period. Our Maintenance staff then collects the books and delivers a new batch at the same time.
In addition to the Deposit Collection libraries, where the books are on loan from ICPL’s collection, there are sites whose libraries we stock and maintain; individuals who are mailed items through our At Home program; and collections–such as the Iowa Teen Award books–we provide to area agencies with young adult populations. Our Children’s department also maintains collections at several Outreach libraries.