The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

March 8, 2013

Library volunteers sustain connection to outside world

CLINTON — Tom Streveler ambles up to the door of Bickford Cottage carrying a bag heaving full of audiobooks.

He strolls through the hallways of the assisted living center to find Lucille Dodd, a 96-year-old who eagerly awaits her visitor, but more importantly the stories that wait to be uncovered in the bag Streveler carries. 

Streveler, 71, is a member of the Friends of the Clinton Public Library and delivers books for the library’s homebound program. On Thursday he delivered to three women, including Dodd, who rely on books, audiobooks, DVDs and other media as an outlet to the world.   

“I don’t know what I would do without them,” Dodd said.

The homebound program extends a lifeline to those who can’t make a trip to the Clinton Public Library themselves by delivering the adventure, joy and intrigue of a book, movie or music to their doors.

The program has standing relationships with many of the senior living facilities throughout the community such as Bickford Cottage and Sarah Harding, but also works with individuals who would like to enrich their lives. To get started, patrons call the library and speak to Cindy  McClimon, the homebound program coordinator. After the initial contact, McClimon digs in to find out how the program can best serve that client.  

For 93-year-old Bernice Cook, the audio books she receives every month allow her to continue exploring romance and real life stories she wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Cook is legally blind, meaning she’s unable to see the books at the library, let alone make the trek there.

“This program is mighty important to me,” she said.

McClimon, a retired nurse, interviews book seekers to discover what kinds of materials or particular authors pique their interest and also asks how much they would like to read over the course of a month. After the interview she picks out books that she believe will fulfill the client’s needs. If she didn’t get to interview the patron in person, she will be the first to deliver to them.   

“I like picking out the books,” she said. “It’s a process. Clients are re-evaluated all the time.”

Victoria Tieso, 56, started taking advantage of the homebound program a little more than a year ago. She has trouble walking because of neuropathy in her legs caused by a snake bite she suffered in her 20s. She also has skin lukemia, making her skin extremely sensitive to the elements. Both ailments restrict how much she ventures outside of her apartment.

“I needed something good to do,” Tieso said.

Mysteries, biographies and romance top her list of favorite genres.

“They’re so nice to me. I truly am grateful,” she said.  

In other cases, such as the senior living and nursing homes that the program serves, McClimon sets up a mini library where the patrons can pick and choose as they would like. McClimon wraps the books and places them in the library where the volunteers can grab them and head out to their deliveries.  

In January, McClimon and 16 volunteers delivered 289 books to 30 different patrons. They are allowed to keep the books for up to two months, but get a new delivery every month. Patrons are also allowed to receive other library items through the program. The volunteers also delivered six DVDs and 79 CDs in January.  

Streveler and the other volunteers aren’t merely couriers.  

“It’s not a drop-and-run thing,” McClimon said. “You are their lifeline.”

For Streveler, volunteering is an opportunity to serve people who are trying to keep their minds sharp and in tune. Interacting with the people is his favorite part.

“I love their spirit and attitude,” he said. “This is good for their imagination and creativity. When you’re blind and can’t get out this becomes a journey for them.”  

Streveler has been bringing library materials to Dodd since he started delivering a couple years ago. When he learned she was moving to Bickford Cottage, a stop outside of his normal route, he told McClimon he still wanted to be her connection.  

Dodd used to read all the time, but when macular degeneration took its toll on her eyes, she turned to audio books. She goes through about 24 in less than a month.  

“It keeps my brain active,” she said.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Medication drop boxes available

    Although no formal event is planned in Clinton County for Saturday’s nationwide Medication Take Back Day, area officials are reminding residents this week about permanent drop boxes aT area law enforcement agencies.
    Unused or expired medications can be disposed of during normal business hours in the lobbies of four police departments in Clinton County — Camanche Police Department, 819 South Washington Blvd.; Clinton County Sheriff’s office, 241 Seventh Ave. North; Clinton Police Department, 116 Sixth Ave. South; DeWitt Police Department, 606 Ninth St.

    April 23, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Clinton Middle School Forum Photo 2 Leadership Team field concerns from parents CLINTON -- Progress on the new Clinton Middle School continues to move forward and as the deadline for completion draws nearer, school district officials and staff members are interested to know how the community is feeling about the project. What th

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Iowa State says data breach could affect thousands

    The Social Security numbers of nearly 30,000 people who enrolled at Iowa State University over a 17-year period were exposed in a data breach, school officials announced Tuesday.

    Five information technology servers on the Ames campus were hacked, and those servers contained the Social Security numbers of people who took certain classes at the school between 1995 and 2012, ISU officials said in a news release. There is no evidence that any of the personal files were accessed, the school said, and the records didn't contain student financial information.

    April 22, 2014

  • Iowa woman arrested after child falls from window

    A Manchester woman has been arrested after her toddler fell from a second-story apartment window.

    The Manchester Police Department says 27-year-old Stacy Neuhaus was arrested Monday in Iowa City. She faces charges of child endangerment. Court records do not list an attorney.

    April 22, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video