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YORK – We’re back! You are back! If it weren’t for the curious amount of hand sanitizer pumps or masked faces in the kids’ room, you’d think it was a normal summer in the library.

People stock up on summer readings and use computers, and young families attend story hours and play with the oars in the children’s room.

But among the happy faces, some are missing – a quiet reminder of the impact COVID has had on our community.

A few of these faces belong to those who have moved, who have had to relocate to be near their family or sell a house to adapt to changing life circumstances.

A few are customers we’ve lost – particularly loyal and dedicated readers who made us smile or laugh every time they pulled out a book (which we fondly remember from every not-so-secretly taken note at the end. of a book).

A few more are those who can’t access the library, keep calling and telling us how much they wish they could come in, how much they miss the library, and how much they need something new to read (and not on a screen !).

With this last group, we breathe a sigh of relief at having an important service to offer them: home delivery. Our Books on Call program, launched at the end of 2019, is here to support any York resident who cannot come to the library due to transportation or health issues. For some it is a short term need as they are having a hip replacement surgery, but for others it can be a permanent life change due to a chronic condition. .

We are able to undertake this project with the support of Altrusa of the Seacoast, a service organization dedicated to promoting literacy throughout the region. Our volunteers deliver books twice a month at scheduled times, leaving each customer a selection of up to ten items in a bag labeled specifically for the recipient. Materials can be chosen by the individual or left to library staff to choose.

We would love to reach anyone in York who is not able to make it to the library and would appreciate this service. However, reaching people we don’t see regularly is a challenge.

This is where we could use your support: by helping the library connect with people in our community who could benefit from this program. If you are such a person, or know of someone for whom this service would be suitable, please contact us. Call the library at 207-363-2818 to request a mail-in request, and we’ll update you on our delivery schedule as soon as possible.

We love and support our York community. If you can’t make it to the library, let the library come to you.

Sophie Smith is Deputy Director of the York Public Library.