Books on the go: A look at the Visiting Library Service of Belleville’s Public Library

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The program allows for those who can't get to the library, either because of weather or medical conditions, to rent out books and other items once per month. Photo by Sean Cann-Sheppard

BELLEVILLE – The local library here in Belleville isn't just limited to its location in the downtown core.

Like many libraries in the area, the Belleville Public Library operates a service which can deliver almost everything in the library's inventory to those who can't get to the library.

The "Visiting Library Service" uses volunteers to deliver books to locations in Belleville, and serves those who are otherwise unable to make it to the library – either for medical reasons or bad weather. The service is also free for anyone to sign up.

Maureen Cassidy, one of the library's staff members who helps to organize this service, said it has been around since the 70's and the main purpose was to provide community outreach.

With the exception of DVDs, Cassidy said much of the library is available to be delivered once a month.

"It's not just books, but books on CD, large print books, magazines and periodicals," she said.

Cassidy said those who sign up for the program can rent out over 50 items, which is the maximum amount, though most avid readers she said will rent out around 20.

Six volunteers help to deliver the books each month, as well as pick them up once the month is up.

Cassidy said many of the volunteers are retired and are eager to help out.

"Generally, they're individuals that want to fill in some time, and do something for the community that makes them feel good," she said.

Cassidy said many in the community have an overall positive outlook on the program.

"People are so grateful for this service for being able to receive items in their home," she said.

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