Mobile library makes lifelong reading possible

If you see us rollin’ in the Red Carpet truck, give us a thumbs-up, because your library is headed out to improve the lives of hundreds of seniors in Shawnee County. By bringing them their favorite books, movies and music, Red Carpet librarians provide seniors with plenty to do at their senior facility or home. And a lifelong relationship with the library remains intact for folks who simply can’t get to the library anymore.

“I can’t drive, so the library comes to me,” says Michelle LeMoine, Red Carpet customer.

Annette Kirtdoll & Shirley Fudge are residents of First Apartments who congregate in the rec room when Red Carpet rolls in. The pair pick up books and movies.

Annette Kirtdoll & Shirley Fudge are residents of First Apartments who congregate in the rec room when Red Carpet rolls in. The pair pick up books and movies.

“Many times when we visit, we’re the only communication they have,” says Nathan Hohl, Red Carpet librarian. “One customer in particular is very happy to see me. Her family lives out of town, so I’m one of her only visitors. I always sit and talk to her for 5-10 minutes.”

Janet Johnsen and Megan Johnson, too, understand that their visit isn’t only about the books and other materials that seniors check out right from their location.

Janet Johnsen and Megan Johnson, Red Carpet librarians, are delivering to McCrite Plaza Retirement Center

Janet Johnsen and Megan Johnson, Red Carpet librarians, are delivering to McCrite Plaza Retirement Center

For them, it’s a matter of developing personal relationships and making seniors feel like they’re part of a wider community. Just because they are living in a facility or have some hardships being mobile doesn’t mean Topeka seniors have to sever their lifelong relationships with the library.

When Janet and Megan enter a room, arms laden with books, faces brighten and conversation picks up right where it left off the last time the library was in the house.

Do you think you or someone you love could benefit from Red Carpet Services? Get in touch with us today.


5 Resources for Caregivers

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Overwhelmed caregivers, take heart. The library has a plethora of resources to help you through this time. Here are just five. For more about how we can help, visit tscpl.org or call 580-4545.

1 Caregiver Support Group – Second Tues of every month, 3:30-4:30 pm

2 Download ebooks, audio books, music and movies. Use library services without coming to the building. Visit tscpl.org.

3 Check out Today’s Caregiver magazine for info, advice and support specifically for caregivers.

4 Visit the Red Carpet center at the library to take home low vision and hearing devices that help seniors maintain reading activity.

5 Come to the library to find some relaxation and materials for yourself. The best way to be an effective caregiver is to take care of yourself.

Leah is a former employee and wrote many stories and articles for the library.