CI Hero: Peoria’s library district uses outreach program to spread literacy for homebound readers

CI Heroes

A non-traditional element of Peoria’s Public Library District is helping homebound people continue learning. The outreach efforts by the library nab this week’s CI Hero distinction.

Peoria’s Public Library District provides outreach services to readers beyond aisles of books on the shelves.

“We’re very proud of these services and feel like these reach people where they are,” said Randall Yelverton, Director of Peoria Public Library.

Those services include book delivery. On Thursday, a stack of new books arrived for Pam O’Neal. The service keeps literacy and learning at the forefront for readers like her.

“My favorite books are biographies, non-fiction, crime stories,” said Pam O’Neal who uses home book delivery. “Those are my favorite ones. Mysteries.”

O’Neal suffered a stroke and can’t get out much. She said having books arrive at her door monthly helps keep her mind stimulated and strong.

“Once you start reading, you learn how to learn your words all over,” said O’Neal. “Like the simplest word can be the hardest word. When you’re reading, those words become easy.”

The service started in Peoria in 1964 and after a short hiatus was revamped in the early ’80s.

“I think it’s important to stay engaged with the world, no matter your age or your background, or what your current circumstances are, to use our services,” said Yelverton.

The delivery service is available to cardholders and is free. Library staff will select materials based on the person’s interests. The books are delivered to doorsteps once a month.

We’re always looking to hear from you. If you’d like to nominate someone to be a CI Hero CLICK HERE.

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