Saturday, January 09, 2010

Book run to the Cheshire Home

Today's Library delivery run took us to the Singapore Cheshire Home. For once we were assigned to a single one-stop address. Though that sounds more convenient, it was actually a bit more difficult because once we arrived, we had to locate the individual recipients and then figure out a system to keep track of our disbursements and collections when more than one came to find us at about the same time. Communication wasn't easy either -- some of them were barely audible because of their disabilities.

The residents have a mixed bag of disabilities. Most are wheelchair-bound, some needing help to wheel them around the place. They vary in age-range, from teenagers to the elderly. It wasn't even possible to guess who was requesting which books until we met them personally. One young fellow was quite taken by a book about tattoos in his pile and soon became absorbed in choosing a design for himself, quite determined to get one as soon as he was able. An older gentleman turned down a pair of Chinese classics, though initially we couldn't understand why. Then it became face-palmingly obvious: the books were too heavy for his atrophied hands and the words were too small for him to read. We went looking around for a little kid who ordered a set of primary readers, but he eventually turned out to be an elderly lady who wanted to learn English through reading kids' books.

Quite a bit of feedback for the NLB then, especially to the staff helping to choose books for the next delivery. Hope they can read the scribbled comments I left for them in the feedback form.

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