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New policy helps homebound library users

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Homebound patrons of the Woodland Library in Los Altos, above, will be among those Santa Clara County Library District members who can now designate someone to pick up reserved library materials for them.

The Santa Clara County Library District, which includes the Los Altos main and Woodland Branch libraries, aims to make it easier for homebound library district residents to receive items they want from the library.

Those who find themselves confined at home for three or more months can now designate a person to pick up items for them at their local library or the district’s Bookmobile.

“This new policy provides convenience and ensures that our patrons can obtain books, movies and other items with more ease and, potentially, greater frequency,” said county librarian Nancy Howe.

Currently, library staff delivers items requested by registered homebound patrons approximately once a month.

While a small program with just under 100 participants, homebound services are important to the nonambulatory seniors, people with disabilities and otherwise incapacitated individuals who rely on them, library representatives said. Homebound people can specify a designated borrower by filling out an application on the library district’s website. 

Another change that has recently taken effect is the ability to renew most items up to three times. The change allows patrons to renew books and other materials for a third time from home, their personal electronic devices or library checkout machines, as long as there are no holds on the items and the items qualify for renewal. The length of time eligible items can be checked out remains three weeks at a time.

“These great measures will help people whose lack of mobility would otherwise limit their access to library materials,” said Mike Wasserman, county supervisor and library Joint Powers Authority board chairman. “Once again, SCCLD is working hard to make library services more convenient and accessible for all patrons.”

For applications and more information, visit sccld.org/homebound-services-policy/.

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