Linda Kilbert: Bringing the library to your door

Merriam Webster defines homebound as: “(adjective) confined to the home.”

What a drag, especially if you can’t get out because you’re sick, have limited mobility or need to quarantine. There’s only so much television you can watch, only so many games you can play on your phone, and only so many hours that you can stare out the window and watch the squirrels run in circles. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a steady supply of fascinating books to read or listen to, blockbuster movies to watch or fun board games to play, all without leaving your home?

Well, Johnson County Public Library is here to help.

The library-to-Your-Door is a new contactless homebound delivery service that brings library materials to any the library patron that is unable to leave their residence. It is available for temporary or long-term arrangements. Maybe you have had surgery that keeps you from being able to drive for a few weeks, or maybe you are in a high-risk group and you don’t feel comfortable going out right now. Whatever is keeping you confined at home, we would love the opportunity to bring the library to you.

To set up the library-to-Your-Door, please call your library branch. You can request specific items over the phone or online through

If you don’t know what you want, a librarian can help select library materials, including books, audiobooks, DVDs, music CDs, magazines and more based on your interests and preferences. In most cases, requests made weekdays by noon can be delivered that afternoon. We use strict sanitation guidelines to make sure the transaction is as safe as possible.

Besides traditional library materials, the library also has a growing collection of non-traditional items, such as sewing machines, cake pans and board games. These are part of our Library of Things and can also be requested through the library-to-Your-Door.

The library also has a wealth of downloadable options which can give you access to a wide variety of e-books, music, movies and more on your device right from the comfort of your home. Librarians can help you set up these over the phone as well.

The library-to-Your-Door has proved to be life-changing. One of our regular library users used to visit the library two or three times a week. He is 81 years old and his wife has Alzheimer’s disease. Once the pandemic hit, it was especially hard for him to visit the library. Now, with the library-to-Your-Door, he gets the latest mystery novels regularly without the worry of venturing out. We love to see our services and resources have positive impacts like this.

Early in the pandemic, it became clear that the elderly in our county were especially impacted by the need to stay at home. The US Census Bureau estimates that as of 2019, approximately 15% of residents in Johnson County are 65 years or older. Being unable or uncomfortable going outside of the house has produced a sense of isolation for some.

To help with this, the library has also introduced a Senior Pen Pal program. If you are a senior or know of one and would like some friendly correspondence with a librarian, please get in contact with your the library library branch. We will match you with a library staff member and you can exchange ideas about books, literature or other casual topics.

Next time you are laid up at home and unable to visit the library, give us a call. We’ll bring the library to your door.

Linda Kilbert is manager of the White River Township branch of the Johnson County Public Library. Library staff members share in writing this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected].