Bertha Bartlett Public Library provides outreach program to Cedar Place, Bethany Life

Kolleen Taylor, Bertha Bartlett Public Library
Special to the Story City Herald

One of the services we provide in Story City is an outreach program to our older residents who live at Cedar Place and Bethany Life. In many cases, the books we rotate in and out of the buildings are large print books, but during the last 12 months, our readership has increased dramatically not only with the larger type, but also in a wide variety of genres.

Admittedly, our non-fiction collection in large print had not received a lot of attention in recent years, but things have changed, with higher readership of biographies, history and humor. We recently determined we needed to upgrade this portion of our library and now have added a standing order of large print non-fiction materials.

This is starting to help, but we also took advantage of some recent sales as large print books are commonly 1/3 more expensive than a regular print copy. So our new non-fiction shelves are offering some great new titles, ones that should be enjoyed by patrons who have certain levels of vision impairment.

Authors we thought might have more appeal in large print include some healthy living advice from Tim McGraw and Joan Lunden. In addition, the book “Unmedicated," by Madisyn Taylor addresses the four pillars of natural wellness.

Biographies we have added include “The Luckiest Man: Life with John McCain” by Mark Salter, “Mockingbird Songs: My friendship with Harper Lee” by Wayne Flynt, Shirley MacLaine’s memoir “Above the Line: My Wild Oats Adventure”, “Tough as they Come” about Sargeant Travis Mills who is a quadruple amputee, and “When Time Stopped” a memoir of Hans Neumann, a Jewish man who was taken by the Nazis in 1941, written by Ariana Neumann.

Other historical materials included “Suffrage” by Ellen Carol DuBois, “Countdown 1945” by Chris Wallace, “Midnight in Chernobyl” by Adam Higginbotham, and “This Time Next Year We’ll be Laughing” by Jacqueline Winspear. More recent histories include “The Boys in the Bunkhouse” an Iowa story by Dan Barry and “The Great Mars Hill Bank Robbery” by Ron Chase.

For those who have suffered the loss of a dear pet, an everyday occurrence made worse when coupled when these losses are on top of the deaths of family and friends, we added “Lost Companions: Reflections on the Death of Pets” by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.

These new nonfiction materials augment our vast large print fiction collection, which continues to grow as more of it is used by our entire population. We try not to duplicate our large print, however, we do have some standing orders which overlap with some of our best sellers. And as one who has typically had issues with vision, the large print seems to keep tired eyes from wearing down completely, a great solution for those facing those changes.

Remember, it’s never too late to read, to listen, to learn and when it comes to library materials, we will find a way to get what you need into your hands.