11 April 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Cork County Council’s Library Service has begun delivering books directly to the doorsteps of some of it’s vulnerable members who are isolating during COVID-19. From Kilworth to Kilcrohane and everywhere in between, those who ordinarily enjoy regular visits to their local library can still count on having something new to read during these difficult times. Within its first week of operation, Council staff delivered over 200 boxes of books directly to library borrowers’ homes across the length and breadth of Cork County.
Initiating the service, staff put their years of personal knowledge to good use making contact with regular and now housebound borrowers to compile a list of those interested in a delivery of books to their home. Stringent health and safety measures were put in place, before the first deliveries were completed in Bantry and Passage West on Friday 27th March. Five library drivers now work daily on the service, collecting boxes from the local library, before delivering them directly to homes across the County.
One happy library member J.W. explained his delight at receiving his book delivery
“Santa Claus just arrived and out-did my highest, most optimistic hopes of the enclosed gifts. The choices are fantastic. I am over the moon after 14 days of isolation, now to be followed by undefined ‘cocooning’ time, things are getting a little stressful but this is so amazing. I cannot thank you enough.”
Commending the new service, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ian Doyle said
“Adhering to government advice to curb the spread of this virus is absolutely essential, particularly for those who are most vulnerable. However, I realise those “cocooning” can feel very isolated and may find it difficult to keep busy. This new service will be a lifeline for many. A delivery of new books will provide an escape from the daily news, an alternative way to pass the time and will help reduce the effects of social isolation. I would like to commend Cork County Council’s Library Service for adapting to support those most in need at this challenging time.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey commented
“Cork County Council’s Libraries have long since been an integral part of our communities. We recognise the significance of the service to many and, since our library buildings closed, have adapted to ensure we can continue to provide a selection of these services, albeit in a different way. The library’s online resources have provided a lifeline to those with access, but we appreciate digital options are not for everyone and staff have worked quickly to identify a safe system to deliver books to older and more vulnerable citizens. Our Libraries are now playing an integral role in Cork County Council’s Community Support Programme, acting as community hubs for the provision of supports to those who contact our Community Call Helpline. I would like to appeal to anyone who needs us at this unprecedented time to contact our helpline, we are here to support you and have a network of agencies and volunteer groups in your area ready to assist.”
Cork County Council’s Housebound Delivery service is now available across the County to serve those who are cocooning and isolating throughout the duration of this pandemic. If you are interested in finding out more about the service, please contact your local library or Cork County Library Headquarters on 021-4546499.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help accessing collection or delivery of food, essential household items, fuel, medication or simply needs some non-emergency/non-medical advice or support, please contact Cork County Council’s Covid 19 Community Call Helpline on the dedicated and confidential FREE Number 1800 805 819 everyday from 8.00am to 8.00pm or call +353 21 4285517 from outside of Ireland to seek assistance for a relative or friend. You can also text 085 8709010, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.corkcoco.ie for more information.