Outbound Services: Transcending the Neuse Regional Library’s walls
Today's libraries are dynamic, modern community centers for learning, seeking information, and recreation. Positioned at the heart of the community, libraries are a powerful resource for people of any age to find the tools they need to help improve their quality of life.
The Library’s status as a freely accessible community center places it in a unique position to offer lifelong learning opportunities and social engagement activities to all ages, both inside and outside the Library’s facilities. The Library is committed to ensuring that its services are available to all ages, especially those residing in assisted living facilities who are unable to visit their local library.
The Neuse Regional Library’s (NRL) new, redesigned Outbound Services initiative is an example of the library transcending its walls to serve our community through the development of culturally diverse programming that attracts and engages the entire community. Outbound Services provides personalized delivery of materials to residents at Assisted Living facilities bi-weekly; even more importantly, it connects with seniors through quality programming and engagement activities.
Charlene Sanderson, the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library Outbound Services Coordinator, works closely with Activity Directors at assisted living facilities in Lenoir County to ensure programming plans are responsive to the self-expressed needs and interests of residents.
Charlene, who is the heart and soul of this outreach initiative, plans and implements a wide array of programming, from poetry readings and arts and crafts to the ever-popular Bingo Challenge Quest. Charlene’s greatest accomplishment in this role, however, has been the lasting friendships she has built with residents, who look forward to her visits and appreciate her kind spirit.
The staff of these facilities have noticed firsthand the impact the Library’s visits have made:
“Our residents at Spring Arbor of Kinston absolutely adore partnering with Neuse Regional Library through their Outbound Services program. Charlene has come to be known as ‘our librarian.’ When she comes for our twice-monthly visits she meets the residents where they are in their ability to join the activity. The Outbound Services program has given our residents even more opportunities to read, learn, and grow. This program is proof that you are never too old to learn!
[Library staff] provide quality ideas and implementations to assure our residents are engaging their social and intellectual spheres of wellness.”
-Andrew Mozingo, Activity Director at Spring Arbor Senior Living of Kinston
“Thank you so much for what you do for our seniors at Greenbrier Landing…providing movies, books, crafts and games is such an awesome opportunity for those who are unable to get out and about. You are greatly appreciated!!”
-Janelle Banks. Activity Director at Greenbrier Landing
Whether connecting people with resources or with each other, Outbound Services is one example of how the NRL is committed to lifelong learning and collaboration. We will continue to investigate new ways to connect with our community members who have been underserved, and expand our Outbound Services program to reach across every county throughout our region.