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The Bookworm Connects Communities with Books

The Marengo County Library in Linden serves the people of the city and county by providing access to books, computers and more.

The library’s Bookworm program is expanding services beyond the walls of the library. This program, started in September of 2016, delivers books door-to-door to people who are elderly, handicapped, or disabled.

The Bookworm, a brightly colored van, hits the road every week to take books to eager readers across the county.

Before this, the library offered Bookmobile services. A bus, carrying around 4,500 books, made specific stops in the county with patrons coming to that location. After 15 years, the Marengo County Commission decided to retire the bus and replace it.

Joyce Morgan, the Marengo County Library director, explained, “We realized that we had a different group of people who needed the service, people who could not come to the Bookmobile no matter where it was.”

Now library staffer Sarah Dailey drives the Bookworm and delivers the books every other Wednesday. On Tuesdays, Dailey calls the participants to see how many more books they need, if they want to keep a book for longer, if they liked the last books, and if they will be home for the delivery service.

Those who sign up for the Bookworm service get two bags. Dailey will fill one of the bags at the library before going on her route. The other will be at the participant’s home with the books ready to return. Dailey will simply swap the bags.

The Bookworm service is personalized. Dailey meticulously makes sure the participants get the books they want. When she fills the bags on Tuesdays, she checks each individual’s library account to see what type of books they like or don’t like and what books they have already.

One fan, Carolyn Finley, said, “I enjoy having the books delivered to my house. It gives me the opportunity to read more books.”

Morgan said the Bookworm service continues to get good reviews. She explained, “They are so excited because they can get their books. They can get their favorite genres or authors. They can also keep the book longer based on how long it takes them to read.”

The popular Bookworm program is not the only way the Marengo County Library serves the community. They offer a public conference room people can use for group meetings, events and programs.

The library also provides a summer reading program for the children of Marengo County. The June program provided children a way to learn about animals, magic, reptiles and art. Younger library visitors are enjoying a new Crayola Kiosk. A grant provided eight new computers and a kiosk that features four iPads equipped with 50 educational games for children.

Morgan said, “We are fortunate in Linden that we have what we have. We are able to reach out into the county and serve people who are underserved.”

For more information about the Bookworm program, contact the Marengo County Library at 334-295-2246. The library, at 210 N. Shiloh St. in Linden, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.