From left, Pat Coderre (HHNL Visiting Volunteer), Jan Watson (Vice Chair HHNL), Phyllis Moore (Director HHNL), Nancy Deschenes (Chair HHNL), Monica Blackburn (Deputy CEO and Children’s Librarian) and Jane Henderson (Past Chair) at the launch of the program at the Almonte Branch of Mississippi Mills Public Library on March 2, 2021.

Local Organizations Work Together to Make Resources Available

Last September a gentleman from the community reached out to Nancy Deschenes, Chair of the Home Hospice North Lanark Board of Directors about some books his wife had bought when she was diagnosed with cancer. They were books that helped her deal with the realities of what was happening in her life. He wanted to donate them to HHNL’s resource library. When Nancy mentioned the donation at an Executive Meeting, the conversation evolved into a discussion about how HHNL should expand their collection and how to make it more accessible to the community. Last October, 100 Women Who Care donated a significant amount of money to HHNL. They decided to use some of that money to enhance their resource collection. Allison Griffith RN, who oversees the Visiting Volunteer Program and created a list of recommended reading and Jane Henderson, Past Chair and Jan Watson, Vice Chair contributed books from their own collections.

Never one to wait around waiting for things to happen, Jan Watson, Vice Chair of the Board, set up a meeting with Christine Row, CEO, and Monica Blackburn, Deputy CEO and Children’s Librarian at Mississippi Mills Public Library, to talk about what could be done. They both jumped at the chance help. The library would designate a section at the Almonte branch of MMPL the “Home Hospice North Lanark Section” and assist them with ordering books, for which HHNL would pay. Another Board member, Phyllis Moore, will also ensure a collection of appropriate pamphlets from local agencies such as Carebridge, Alzheimer’s Day Away Program, The Cancer Society and HHNL as well as the “vials of life” supplied by Carebridge will be on hand. Information about Advance Care Planning will also be available. The books are available for Library patrons to sign out.

This is a wonderful example of how a simple thoughtful act can grow into something so much bigger. The Board of HHNL is very grateful to the library staff, especially Monica Blackburn, for their support, expertise and knowledge. The hope is to eventually expand this program to other area libraries.

Do you have any books in your home library that may fit well in this collection? If they are in good shape, we may be able to add them to the collection. Please email mblackburn@mississippimills.ca; she’ll let you know if they are a good fit. Please do not just drop books off at the library. They are unable to accept donations at this time.