Durham County Library’s OASIS (Older Adult and Shut-In Service) offers services to individuals unable to visit the library due to age, illness, or physical disability. OASIS provides reading material and programs to homebound people in nursing and rest homes, retirement communities, senior centers, and private residences. Prisons and other institutions are also served through OASIS.
Library staff members provide direct service to residents in institutional settings. Volunteers participate in the program by personally selecting and delivering books to homebound individuals. This assignment usually takes about two hours every three weeks. After initial matching and training, volunteers receive a monthly newsletter of information about library materials and services.
Books by Mail
Homebound individuals can also choose to receive library materials through Books by Mail. Books are selected by library staff, based on the homebound person’s reading tastes, and mailed to and from the individual in a zippered bag. Return postage is prepaid by the library.
Referrals for Talking Books
OASIS provides referrals to the North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for people who cannot use standard reading materials due to a visual or other physical disability. Books and magazines recorded on records and cassette tapes and produced in grade 2 braille or large type. Special record and tape players are also provided. The library is located in Raleigh but sends materials by mail to readers throughout the state.
Designed for use with older adults in groups or individually, Bi-Folkal Kits are available through OASIS. These multi-media resource kits are built around themes like fashion, fun and games, school days, and work life and are intended to get older adults remembering, thinking, and talking about aspects of their lives related to these themes. Each kit contains slides, cassettes, videos, music, skits, activity booklets, things to touch and smell, and a complete how-to-do-it manual.
Large Print Collection
The Main Library’s extensive collection of large print books contains a variety of general fiction, western, mystery, and romance titles, as well as nonfiction selections and biographies. Bestsellers and softcover editions are increasingly available. Collections of large print books are also available at the regional libraries and on the bookmobile.
The Main Library has an electronic magnifier, an instrument which produces a magnified image (up to 45 times) of objects placed on its viewing table. Books, documents, checkbooks, and other items can be viewed easily and confidentially. A wheelchair accessible Internet/library catalog station is also available, adapted so that patrons have the choice of having the information on the screen read aloud or displayed in large print. Both are located in the reference area on the second floor.
For more information about these resources and services please contact us at 919-560-0155.