“They’re here, they’re here!” This is the greeting we receive from the enthusiastic residents of Givens Highland Farms retirement community when we arrive bearing library materials each week. In September, the Black Mountain Public Library staff and volunteers began a pilot outreach program at Givens Highland Farms. The outreach program is known as Helping Our Library Deliver Services (“HOLDS”), and is offered in conjunction with Givens Highland Farms’ weekly ice cream social.

In addition to bringing print books and magazines, with support from the Friends of the Library, we purchased two CD players and sets of headphones to lend to residents so they can listen to audiobooks. 

While Givens Highland Farms has a library of its own in one building, many residents who live in other buildings in the community cannot easily access those resources. This outreach project provides library services to people who otherwise would not be able to get to a library. Each week we bring a selection of books, audiobooks, and magazines for residents to peruse, and we also take special requests for specific items. In addition to providing reading material, we are providing a weekly social touchpoint to enhance residents’ quality of life. 

We plan to offer outreach services at Givens Highland Farms through the end of November, and then we will reassess to determine if and how services will continue. There is also the possibility of expanding outreach services through other Buncombe County Public Library branches. We are grateful to our dedicated volunteers and the support of the Friends of the Library for helping make this initial pilot program such a success!