A good book and a cheery word direct to your door! Find out about the home library service in North Yorkshire

6 December 2023
North Yorkshire Council Skipton Library

When your horizons narrow through age, disability or illness, nothing broadens them again like a good book – and perhaps a friendly chat. That’s what North Yorkshire libraries are offering through the home library service – and people are being encouraged to sign up for the service or to volunteer to deliver it.

Books, audiobooks and DVDs chosen to suit each customer’s tastes are delivered free to people who find it difficult to get to their library because of ill health, disability, being a carer, or short-term reasons, such as being at home with a new baby. Libraries also offer this free service to people who live in residential settings.

Since April 1 this year, 284 home library service volunteers have delivered to 1,126 customers across the county.

One of those customers is Cath Holden, who said: “It’s sad when a decrease in mobility or lack of means to get to a library takes away that pleasure of an hour spent browsing the shelves and coming home with a bagful of books. So when a friend who is a user of the home library service contacted them for me, suddenly a whole new world opened up.”

Volunteer roles include choosing books based on customers’ likes or delivering them to people. Customers can keep the books as long as they need and there are no fines or overdue charges.

Home library service volunteer Ann Busfield said: “It is not a huge commitment, but I really enjoy it,” she said, “mainly because we have such wonderful chats. All the customers I visit definitely value it very highly. I get to talk to interesting people and get different viewpoints. One of the things I get out of it is reading recommendations, so I have developed a broader reading base than I used to have. It is very much a two-way thing.”

Find out more about using the home library service or volunteering by getting in touch with your local library or online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/homelibraryservice