Reading

Books on the Run has been offered as a program to homebound and care facility residents in the area for over 20 years. The program is a delivery and pickup service, courtesy of a cooperative program between Salem Public Library and Enrichment Services of Dent County.

Books on the Run is a free service that delivers and picks up library materials to your home or care facility, twice per month. On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, a representative and client from Enrichment Services picks up materials at the library and delivers them via curbside service. Available materials include books, CD audiobooks, DVDs and Blu-Rays.

You must be in the Salem R-80 school district to be a patron of the program. A short application process is necessary to identify items on your wish list, including genres of books and more. Patrons may keep materials for two weeks, or renew the items if a longer check-out time is preferred. Library staff selects items based on the patron’s wish list.

Main stops include Seville Care Center, Salem Residential Care and Salem Care Center. About a dozen people participate currently. Hundreds have used the service in its over 20-year existence.

Now more than ever as the current pandemic continues, this service is a way for home-bound residents to enjoy the library without being in the public building. The library has seen an upturn in internet usage, with virtual public and homeschool students over the past year. Other programs have continued, but are now virtual, including preschool story times, where daycares and preschool classes participate from their own classrooms.

There’s a common misconception that only city residents may use the library and its services. City residents pay a library tax that covers their usage of the library. County residents do not pay the tax, therefore there is a charge for those residing outside the city limits. A $50 annual fee will cover the entire household for one year of service.

Salem Public Library Director Glenda Wofford shared the success of the program.

“It has been going on for over 20 years, and Enrichment Services has been there the whole time,” she said. “It really is a partnership between us.”

Enrichment Services encourages individuals to actively participate in the community. Their involvement with this program has helped achieve this mission.

Wofford will celebrate 46 years with the library this July. She began as a high school student in a part-time position with the library. She worked with well-known women of the area, including Alice Dent, Mildred Buckner and Shirley Seay. Seay and Wofford were co-librarians in the early 1980s, as well as Brenda Urban and Wofford.

In April of 1989, Wofford was named director and has been in that post for the past 32 years this spring.

To learn more about the program or the library, call 729-4331 or visit the library at 403 North Jackson. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The library also has a Facebook page and website, https://salempubliclibrary.net/