People who have benefited from Lancashire County Council’s Home Library Service have said it is “marvellous” the service has resumed.Advertisement
The service is available to those across Preston and the rest of Lancashire who may feel lonely, isolated, vulnerable or in need of support. It can also be accessed by people who are unable to get to their local library easily.
Books, audio books, CDs and DVDs are chosen for the customer by library staff and delivered to people free of charge.
The books are usually delivered every four weeks, but are currently being delivered every six weeks. A phased reopening of more libraries is also happening, including the recently reopened Fulwood library.
Read more: More of Preston’s Libraries get ready to re-open
A socially distanced delivery service is provided by library service drivers at a time that is convenient to the customer. The home library service currently has more than 530 customers.
Terence Warburton, 86, is among the hundreds of Lancashire residents who have welcomed the service back into their homes after it was paused due to the lockdown.
For Terence, it’s a chance to welcome a friendly face and have a chat.
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He said: “The home library service makes a massive difference to my life. It’s marvellous. I really missed it when everything was closed down. A couple of friends from my local church told me about the service, and I jumped at the chance straight away.
“Someone comes to see me about once a month and I usually get about eight audiobooks delivered. Murder mysteries and detective books are my favourites.
“It’s really nice to see another person. I’m always happy when I know that my books will be delivered. It means much more to me than just the books, I can tell you.”
June Dearden, 88, has used the home library service for the past year and has found it extremely helpful.
She said: “I’ve read all my life, every night of my life really. I’m quite lost if I can’t read because it takes my mind off everything.
“Unfortunately, I can’t get to the library myself now and it isn’t always possible for someone to take me, so I really value this service. I think keeping my brain active is essential.”
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Sheila Niven, another avid user of the service from South Ribble has always been an avid reader.
She said: “This service means a lot to me as I am a bookworm. I’ve always been a big reader. My employment involved books as well as I was a librarian and researcher working in the film industry.
“I’m thrilled that my books are now being delivered from the home library service again. I really enjoy reading non-fiction the best. I love books about politics and history, including royalty across Europe. I have really missed them since March.”
The home library service has proven itself invaluable to those across Preston and beyond who need additional support to get hold of books they want to read.
County Councillor Peter Buckley said: “It isn’t just about the books, it’s about the social interaction and combating loneliness. It’s about providing a friendly face and that’s really important, knowing someone is there for a chat.
“We know that isolation and loneliness can be a big problem for people, and especially so during the current pandemic. I would encourage more people to use our great home library service, so please get in touch if you or someone you know would benefit from it.”
There are 129 home library volunteers working across Lancashire and the service is always on the lookout for more. Volunteers must agree to a DBS check.
For more information about the home library service, visit the Lancashire County Council website.
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Will you be taking advantage of the home library service? Let us know in the comments below.