Open door to books
MANY people around the region are unable to do a range of things most of us take for granted, from grocery shopping to browsing through the library.
Thanks to Mercedes Heymer and Kathryn Fraser, these people have one less thing to worry about.
Together the pair deliver books to the homes of the aged, disabled or often both from the Gladstone region.
Working out of the Gladstone City Council Library, Ms Heymer and Ms Fraser run the Home Library service.
Home Library began in 1996, when it replaced the mobile library. Originally distributing books solely to Gladstone, Ms Heymer worked alone until last year’s amalgamation of councils prompted the library to extend the service further out.
The expansion led to Ms Fraser’s introduction into the service. She now controls the Tannum, Boyne and Calliope routes while Ms Heymer continues to do the Gladstone run.
“In the Gladstone area I visit about 150 people over a fortnight and six resident aged care facilities,” Ms Heymer said.
“The majority of time is selecting their books and getting them onto their cards for them and I enjoy that part. It’s a real challenge.”
The delivery service caters for men and women of all ages and reading levels.
“I have some people that will only require two or three books in a fortnight and one lady that has 40 books in a fortnight,” Ms Heymer said.
“The average person has about a dozen.”
Ms Heymer spoke of potentially growing the service to incorporate other outlying areas including Wurdong, Beecher, Mount Larcom and Yarwun. The ladies said doing the regular rounds was rewarding in more ways than one.
“We’re just bringing the community back into their lives,” Ms Fraser said.
“Sometimes we’re the only people they see.
“Some of them get Meals on Wheels, but aside from us there are quite a lot who never get to see anyone else,” Ms Heymer confirmed.