The Home Library Service.

Home Library Service.

Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs the libraries in Devon, are seeking to grow our Home Library Service offer – could you possibly help?

What is the Home Library Service?

It is a service delivered by volunteers and organised by your local libraries to enable people in the community who cannot physically get to a library to access reading materials and/or audio books for free. As one customer (Hilda) told us,Reading takes me to “another place” and I would miss it terribly’.

What does it involve?

People apply to their local library to request the service and complete a form which gives a few details about what they would like to borrow from the library. Dedicated volunteers choose and deliver books to your home, including large print and audiobooks, free of charge and return them once used.

Who can apply to receive the service?

The service is open to anyone of any age who may not be able to get to a library for example because of health (this could be a short-term health issue), mobility difficulties or caring responsibilities.

Why become a Home Library Service Volunteer?

Current Home Library Service Volunteers describe feeling that what they do has purpose and ‘gives back’ to the community. Janie, a current volunteer, says ‘Many of my customers are fairly isolated and look forward to a short chat with me as I collect the books. At present I have 5 customers and it takes me around three hours once every 4-6 weeks to arrange a visit to collect the books; choose up to six for each reader and deliver them. A small amount of time overall, which brings much pleasure to the people using the service’.

Social connection is so important for our mental and physical health, and people of any age or stage in their lives can find themselves isolated or feeling lonely due to a change in circumstances. Many volunteers stay for a chat and a cuppa but only if this is welcomed and they feel comfortable to do so. One customer, Estelle, said, ‘I look forward to the visit and was delighted when the volunteer and the librarian were able to identify a book and author that I had enjoyed and wanted to read more of her work. Books keep you in touch with the outside world.Another customer, Chris, told us, ‘We are losing the mobile library, so this service is invaluable, as we are so cut off in rural Devon’.

Are you able to make someone’s day special and get that ‘feel good factor’?

How can you help?

We need volunteers to help with deliveries. This special role does suit people who are confident in choosing books and who understand the need for respecting confidentiality. Any travel expenses will be reimbursed, and the wonderful library staff and volunteer coordinators are always on hand to help with any queries and offer guidance. Due to the nature of the role, referencing and a DBS check will be required; we will work with you to try and make this process as quick and easy as possible. We aim to support anyone who is interested and will always look to try and resolve any barriers to participation. This is a flexible role which allows you to offer your time and energy around your other commitments and does not necessarily require access to a vehicle.

Who to contact?

If you are interested in either using the service or becoming a volunteer to support the service, please contact your local library so you can arrange to discuss the role. If you are not sure where your local library is, then please contact [email protected] and we can put you in touch.

There are also other volunteering opportunities available within libraries so please check out the individual libraries’ Facebook pages or contact the libraries directly if you would like to get involved.

As volunteer coordinator I am also interested in any other project ideas you may have. What does the community need? What are you passionate about? Please feel free to contact me Sarah Robinson Tel:07976584722 email: [email protected] with your suggestions.

Sarah Robinson.


This entry was posted in Books, Local People and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.