SWEETWATER COUNTY — The Sweetwater County Library System’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our county. The library does this in a number of ways: Presenting programs to help people learn and connect, offering a current and robust collection, and maintaining several branches so everyone in Sweetwater County is close to a facility. For some in our community, however, the need is greater.
The library’s Outreach Program is focused on providing library materials and information to the Sweetwater County’s senior population. The goal of the program is two-fold: Deliver materials to library patrons who are homebound and can no longer travel to the library, and reach out to seniors through the county’s senior centers.
Senior Outreach Librarian Alan Vaughn hopes to spread the word about the outreach program is all about and encourage people to use the service.
“I bring books (especially the large print editions) audiobooks, movies, or magazines to the patron depending on their likes and interests,” Vaughn explained. “I have various routes throughout Green River and Rock Springs where I visit homebound patrons, assisted living facilities, and senior centers and these repeat every four weeks. I also maintain small traveling libraries at some of the assisted living facilities.”
Born in Missouri, Vaughn spent most of his childhood in Hanna, Wyoming, and has lived in Missouri or Wyoming his whole life. He earned a B.A. in English from Truman State University and currently lives in Green River.
According to Vaughn there is room for growth in the Outreach program and he has put together a two-part plan to reach more of the community.
“Firstly, I will be doing more programs at the senior centersand secondly, I will be engaging in an advertising push to get more homebound residents signed up,” Vaughn said. “Right now I am focusing on increasing my participation with the local senior centers by offering tech classes that cover all the digital content available from the library. We are also exploring ideas for more programs at some of the local assisted living facilities.”
This program is about more than just delivering books and magazines.
“Sadly, too many of our elderly residents become increasingly isolated as they age and find their mobility hampered by health, weather, etc. By delivering materials to them we are striving to keep seniors involved with the world outside of their home or assisted living facility,” Vaughn explains. “It’s not just books that I deliver but company as well. I often stay and chat with the patrons on my routes for a while just to provide them with much needed companionship. This is the most important aspect of the program and what I believe the program, at its heart, is all about: helping some of our community’s more isolated members feel that they are not quite so alone.”
For more information on the Outreach services provided by the library or to see if you or someone you know qualifies, call Alan at 307-875-3615 ext. 1440.