Spartanburg County Public Library gives Homebound Providers

Evelyn Parks began her career in 1975 at the Spartanburg County Public Library and worked in the South Pine Street sales department. 45 years later, after having worked in every department except tech, Parks is still helping clients find books that stimulate their imaginations.

“I wanted to connect with people and find out what people liked and why they enjoyed it,” said Parks.

She continues to help people today through her work with Homebound Services. The library offers a park-run homebound service for those unable to reach the library.

Evelyn Parks, Spartanburg County Public Libraries Coordinator, left, greets Donna Bryant.  Evelyn Parks was out delivering books and films to Spartanburg residents.

Up to 25 items are delivered every four weeks by library staff or trained volunteers. After an interview process, interested customers discuss their book interests, how many books they would like to receive each month, and what specific reading needs they have, e.g. B. Audiobooks or large printed books.

“I found out about the Homebound Service through Jane Floyd at the Spartanburg Housing Authority,” says Sheila Bowden. “I love Mrs. Evelyn. I don’t have much company and she is a beautiful face that I see every month. “

The library is accepting homemade Valentines donated to shut-ins along the Homebound Services route through February 5th. Bowden points out two cute Valentines on display on her coffee table: “I’m so proud of her and have kept them on my table since she gave them to me. This is love, ”she said.

Evelyn Parks is a coordinator for the Spartanburg County Public Libraries Library.  Here Parks prepares books and films for residents.

“Homebound Services are great for people like caregivers who are responsible for looking after someone and who may not have the time to go out,” says Parks. Shut-ins, people suffering from long-term illness or unable to drive are all people who could benefit from these services.

Some begin this process by knowing exactly what type of library material they need. Others don’t give in and just state their interests in reading, and Parks will then figure out what they think they might like.

The route runs in both urban and rural areas. from woodruff to Landrum. Prior to COVID-19, volunteers helped deliver books and library materials along the route. However, after COVID, the library was unable to support as many volunteers on the drive. Therefore, Parks, with the help of part-time worker Jillian Gelders, delivers all of the library materials himself.

Sheila Bowden from Spartanburg talks about how books and films are delivered to your home by the Spartanburg County Public Libraries Homebound program.

There are several additional contactless ways to use the library’s services. OverDrive or the Libby app is a digital option. OverDrive is a digital library collection of e-books, audiobooks, magazines, and streaming videos that can be accessed through the library’s website or through the Libby app.

For holders of a library card who do not want to read from a device but from a book, the library offers a pick-up service for curbs and brings the required materials for the stops into your vehicle.

Donna Bryant of Spartanburg takes a moment to thank Evelyn Parks for delivering books and films to her home as part of the Spartanburg County Public Libraries Homebound Library program for local residents.

“This is being offered to all of our customers with active library cards with hold holds,” said Christina Calitre, director of Circulation Services.

Donna Bryant from Spartanburg enjoys the Homebound Services movies and audiobooks. Bryant is legally blind and cannot see the fine print on books. She says the materials provided open up a whole new world for her.

“You can’t see it under the mask, but I’m grinning from ear to ear,” says Bryant.

Much has changed about the library since Parks began her career in 1975. Location, librarians, type of services offered. But one aspect of their job has stayed the same. Their dedication to figuring out what types of books make readers curl up on their couches and lose themselves in a good book for a few hours.

“I have come to the conclusion that Evelyn’s work is not a work, it is a calling. Evelyn was called into a life of service and she has used that calling to build relationships in all walks of life,” said Todd Stephens, county librarian. “Her 45 years of service is a third of our 135-year history. It is impressive to think about the many lives Evelyn has touched. In short, she is an amazing woman.”

Those interested in these services can visit to complete the application.

General library information:

  • All locations offer express Internet services and free printing.
  • The SparkSpace Makerspace in the Headquarters Library will only open by appointment on August 3rd. To make an appointment, call the information service at 864-596-3505.
  • Notarial services have resumed where available.
  • Patrons are asked to practice social distancing. Masks are recommended as this can help reduce the spread of COVID.
  • The library no longer charges late fees for overdue items. All items should be returned by the due date. Items that are not returned within two weeks of the due date will be charged a replacement fee on your account.
  • Returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours. It can take up to 5 days for items to be checked in.
  • The Bookpage Magazine offers issues that are available online for free.

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