The Homebound iPad Buddy Program began in late March, after a successful two month trial of the service last year.
“It’s just one way Council is striving to meet the changing needs of our members and responding to new library trends,” Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said.
The service provides Homebound clients with impaired mobility and vision equal access to the library’s vast e-collection of more than 10,000 digital titles.
“It’s the largest range of free e-books in South Australia and it will be topped up with new items each month,” Stephen said.
Each client will be paired with an iPad Buddy volunteer to make sure they have access to the e-books, interactive apps and information they are interested in.
Dignity for Disability MP Kelly Vincent said the e-reader service will not only make reading a book easier, but it will provide opportunities for greater social interaction.
“People living in care will have the chance to interact with a new person and talk about topics that interest them,” Ms Vincent said.
ACC library member, Annette Copley participated in the Homebound iPad Buddy trial program last year because her eyesight isn’t 100 per cent and she has arthritis in her hands.
“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to use an iPad; as an older person I hadn’t had that opportunity and I was envious of younger people,” Ms Copley said.
E-reader devices such as the iPad will enable Homebound clients to increase the font size of an e-book and use audio capabilities to improve their experience of reading.
“I could just zip [my finger] across the iPad and turn the page,” Ms Copley said.
While e-books will be one aspect of the e-reader service, the 10 iPads will be loaded with games and interactive apps aimed at improving the user’s memory, cognitive function and opportunities for socialisation.
The 10 iPads will be available to Homebound clients for a three month loan period and rotated among clients on a waiting list.
For more information about becoming an ACC library member or to volunteer with the Homebound iPad Buddy Program, contact the Homebound Social Programs Coordinators Marianne Beauchamp or Sophie Green on (08) 8203 7159.