Forbes Library’s beloved Outreach Program will continue for another year thanks to generous donations from the community. To date donations in excess of $8,000 have been received and this will allow the library to keep on staff member Frank Heston, the “Book Man”, on a somewhat reduced schedule. The donations were received anonymously from several community members who had personal connections to Outreach and knew its importance.

“Outreach serves an extremely vulnerable and isolated portion of our community. The books and movies that are delivered along with the relationship they have formed with Frank greatly improve the quality of life for those who are served by Outreach. We are very touched by and grateful for the generous response of the community to this situation,” said Janet Moulding, Library Director.

The Outreach program which has been in existence at Forbes for 25 years, delivers books and movies to low mobility Northampton residents who have difficulty visiting the library themselves. Library materials are delivered to private homes, Northampton Housing Authority sites and long-term care facilities. Patrons may specify genre—such as western, romance or non-fiction; format—such as books on CD, large print or video; or ask for specific books or authors.

Books are delivered to patrons every three weeks or as requested. At its height the program had two full-time staff people that served 400 individuals. Budget constraints have forced the program to shrink to its current staffing level consisting of one part time person with some volunteer assistance. The library trustees have formed a subcommittee charged with finding a sustainable solution to the budget issues and funding for Outreach that does not rely solely on volunteers and donors.