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Activity Director Idea: Create a Lending Library

When you work in a facility with many residents, coordinating trips to the library can be a logistical nightmare. How do you keep up with your residents’ need for books? Set up an in-facility lending library! All you need is space for a bookshelf or cart, and some books to get things going. You can use standard office supplies to label and keep track of books, or, if you’re feeling fancy, get a DIY Library Kit to use.

How to get books
The easiest way to stock your library is to ask for donations. Many residents probably have books already, and you can ask them to donate books once they’re done reading. Your fellow employees, and friends and families of your residents can donate, as well. Also, check your local thrift stores. You can usually pick up several books very inexpensively.

While these are good options, you’re often left with other people’s discards and not necessarily books that your residents want to read. If you’re looking for specific authors, or books on a particular subject matter, try online swap sites like paperbackswap.com and bookins.com. These sites allow you to swap out your unwanted books for specific titles you request. They’re much more affordable than purchasing new books, and it can be a fun activity for residents to browse the available titles and go “shopping” for new books to read. Plus, the books are sent via postal mail and who doesn’t like getting mail?

Electronic options

Electronic “eBook” readers are a popular option today, too. Devices like Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and the incredibly popular Apple iPad, are all wonderful options for finding electronic books. The advantage of these devices is the huge library of available books, and the fact that each user can customize the reading experience by adjusting the size of text on the screen, and many other options. No more scouring the library shelves for large print books. Also, more and more devices are now able to “check out” eBooks for free through local library services. On the down side, eReaders are expensive. Even the low-cost models start at around $100. But if you have one or two in your facility, they can be shared among many residents. Check out Project Gutenberg for thousands of free eBooks and audio books to load on your devices.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by CCAC North Library

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