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Senior citizens connect with ‘phone pals’ to combat isolation

The Dallas Public Library is asking for volunteers for its ‘Senior Phone Pals’ program.

DALLAS — Editor's note: The video above is from another story.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when libraries closed, the Dallas Public Library staff called thousands of library cardholders over the age of 70. It sparked the beginning of the "Senior Phone Pals" program.

“We know our libraries provide important social outlets for seniors, and when the library had to close to the public, we were worried about our seniors experiencing isolation,” explained Heather Lowe, the adult services administrator for the Dallas Public Library.

Libraries in Dallas reopened for limited service on May 4, and Lowe said they plan to continue the program.

An individual is asked for a commitment of 30 minutes to an hour each week for at least three months.

"Our staff helped people set up library mobile apps like Libby and e-readers as well as provided a listening ear," Lowe said.

There is a current need for volunteers, and the program welcomes senior citizens who would like to take part, too.

Those interested should contact Alex McLemore, the library's volunteer coordinator, by calling 214-671-9206 or emailing volunteer@dallaslibrary.org to enroll.