This is a special library service for those people who are “housebound” because of age or disability and who live within the Invercargill City rating area. Two staff members who are assisted by volunteer couriers operate the service.
Although our full quota is 140 housebound patrons, we do keep a waiting list. When a vacancy occurs the Librarians visit patrons on the waiting list so that requirements and preferences might be discussed.
The librarians choose and pre-issue all books, which the volunteer courier then has to collect and deliver to their patron. Volunteer couriers are teamed up with a patron near the area in which they live. The volunteer couriers collect, deliver and return books.
Books should be collected and changed monthly. If the housebound patron takes longer than a month to read, this is not a problem. Items for the service have a longer issuing period. The housebound patron will ring the courier when ready for their books to be changed. We usually tell them to contact the courier when reading the last book, which gives time to arrange a date suitable to both patron and courier.
We attempt to take into account any disability the patron may have. For example, we will try to choose lightweight books for those with arthritis, and large print books for the partially sighted. This aspect is also discussed on that first meeting with new patrons. We also encourage our patrons to let us know if any new condition develops so that we can meet changes in requirements.
At the end of the year we hold a party for the housebound clients and their couriers. This has become quite a big event, and is enjoyed by all involved, including library staff. Local business donations and time enable this event to be held.
If you would like more information about our housebound service or about becoming a volunteer courier please contact us (03) 211 1444 or email@example.com