The Issue: Isolation of Homebound Seniors
In Arlington, more than 45,000 people are 60 years old or older, and of those, approximately 25% live with a disability, according to United Way. One such senior is Laura, a woman who lives alone and is also wheelchair bound. She recently told the Arlington Public Library that her eyes are still good, and that she reads her newspaper every day, but that she hadn't read a book in so long that she no longer remembered what sort of books she liked. People like Laura who live with a disability, low income, or even just a lack of transportation can become cut off from the world. Bringing books to them can not only increase the time they spend with others, but can give them an activity to stimulate their minds.
The Campaign: Delivering Books to Homebound Seniors
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by the Arlington Public Library Foundation to bring books to homebound seniors through the Library's Books on Wheels program. For every $10 raised, the Arlington Public Library Foundation can purchase large-print books and audiobooks for its seniors. The library hopes to raise $10,000, which will fund book bags and carts for volunteers, reading materials for program participants, and promotional materials. Fully equipped, the program will be able to reach 150 seniors throughout the community—a 50% increase from the 100 seniors the program reached last year.
Arlington Public Library Foundation
The Arlington Public Library maintains a comprehensive stock of fiction and nonfiction reading materials through a network that consists of a central library and six branch libraries. Residents receive free access to borrow these materials and can use the onsite databases for research. The library also sponsors a variety of programs including public-speaking and Microsoft Excel lessons for adults, story-time sessions for preschoolers, a free-book program for new mothers to read to their children, and a Books on Wheels program that connects homebound and isolated seniors to the community.