Outreach Services

The goal of Outreach Services is to bring the library to the nontraditional or under-served patron through programs and services. Whether patrons are in their homes, senior housing, rehabilitation centers or county correctional facilities, Outreach Services brings the library experience and resources to the community.

Services to At Home Patrons

At Home service is provided free of charge to Hennepin County residents who cannot get to a library due to illness, disability, or visual impairment.

How it works

Materials and services are either delivered in person by a volunteer to your home or sent by U.S. mail at no charge to you with return postage paid. At Home service provides you with access to a wide range of materials and services from the Hennepin County Library, such as:

  • Large print and regular print books, including current best sellers
  • Audiobooks
  • DVDs
  • Music on CD
  • Magazine and newspaper articles
  • Information from the Internet
  • Answers to informational questions located by the department's librarians

Begin At Home service

Applications for At Home service can be submitted online, by phone, or in person.

At Home phone line

At Home patrons can call to request materials or to get answers to informational questions, book recommendations, and all the services received in a traditional library setting.

  • Call 612-543-8850.
  • Staff are available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., except holidays.

 

At Home Reader

At Home patrons receive the At Home Reader, a bimonthly newsletter with book reviews, listings of new materials and library news items of interest.

View the most recent At Home Reader newsletter (PDF)

At Home Reader book list

Services to Corrections

Outreach Services provides service to meet the library needs of the residents of correction and treatment facilities in Hennepin County, in collaboration with Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department.

Programming at the facilities is funded, in part, by the Friends of the Hennepin County Library.

Outreach serves several facilities in Hennepin County.

Outreach staff visit both men's and women's sections of the Adult Corrections Facility (ACF) weekly to deliver and take information and material requests.

In addition, the Library provides the following programs:

Freedom Ticket

To help ACF residents better prepare for their release, Outreach staff developed the Freedom Ticket program to promote the library as a reentry resource. The program offers job resource workshops and other reentry-related classes at the facility as well as a website with information that could benefit people leaving corrections facilities.

One Read

Residents at the women’s section receive a copy of the same book, participate in a discussion group, attend a performance, and ask questions of representatives from resource agencies. Past books discussed were "The Soloist" by Steve Lopez, "The Secret Life of Bees" by Susan Monk Kidd, and "The Grace of Silence" by Michele Norris.

Read to Me

Read to Me promotes family literacy by empowering incarcerated parents to connect with their children at home through reading. Librarian-facilitators and a volunteer work with ACF residents to select age-appropriate books and record themselves reading to their child. The books and recording are given to the child, and the parent is encouraged to continue reading to their child during visitations and after their release.

Library service at the Public Safety Facility consists of a collection of donated and withdrawn paperbacks distributed on book trucks to the eight sections of the jail.

Library staff deliver books and magazines to the County Home School (CHS) cottages once a month. There are also monthly visits to the library in the school, monthly book talks, as well as other activities as part of the Great Transitions Program.

Great Transitions Program

The Great Transitions Program serves young adult residents of the CHS and is designed to acquaint them with the public library and how its resources can help them make the transition from corrections back into the community. Components of the program include Read to Me geared toward teen parents, information literacy instruction, creative writing workshops, author visits, and production of the literary magazine Diverse-City.

Library staff visit the Juvenile Detention Center twice a month with new and donated library materials, take requests from residents, and work with teachers at Stadium View High School.

Services to Senior Housing

Deposit Collections

Outreach Service provides deposit collections at senior housing sites in Hennepin County. These collections are delivered to people who live in group residences and who cannot normally visit the library in person. Sites include senior assisted living residences, skilled care centers, rehabilitation facilities and memory care sites.

Each site receives four different collections a year, with 30 to 90 items in each collection including westerns, mysteries, romances, nonfiction, bestsellers and audiobooks. Staff and volunteers make the materials available to residents.

Bi-Folkal Kits

A kit is a multimedia presentation to spur discussion and memories. Bi-Folkal kits provide captivating, informing and stimulating activities for older adults. Focusing on reminiscence, remembering and reflecting, the kits can be used with any group of older adults or mixed-age groups. Each kit is designed to unlock remarkable stories, humorous anecdotes, and first-person accounts of history, experience and life.

View Bi-Folkal Kits