Joy as home li­brary ser­vice is re­sumed

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Scene By You -

PEO­PLE who use Lan­cashire County Coun­cil’s Home Li­brary Ser­vice have told of their de­light that the ser­vice has re­sumed.

The home li­brary ser­vice is avail­able to any­one who may feel lonely, iso­lated, vul­ner­a­ble or in need of sup­port.

It can also be used by peo­ple who are un­able to get to their lo­cal li­brary eas­ily.

This may be due to health is­sues or mo­bil­ity prob­lems, be­cause they are re­cov­er­ing from surgery or strug­gle to get out be­cause of bad weather.

Books, au­dio books,

CDs and DVDs are cho­sen for the cus­tomer by li­brary staff and de­liv­ered free of charge.

The books are usu­ally de­liv­ered ev­ery four weeks, but are be­ing de­liv­ered ev­ery six weeks cur­rently.

The ser­vice has now restarted, along with a phased re­open­ing of more li­braries.

A so­cially dis­tanced de­liv­ery ser­vice is pro­vided by li­brary ser­vice driv­ers, at a time ar­ranged with the cus­tomer.

June Dearden, 88, from Burn­ley, has used the ser­vice for the past year and said: “I’ve read all my life, ev­ery night of my re­ally.

“I’m quite lost if I can’t read, 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.”

June believes the se­cret to a long and healthy life is keep­ing her brain ac­tive, some­thing the home li­brary ser­vice en­ables her to do.

“I do crosswords and word searches, but then I love get­ting stuck into a book. I think keep­ing my brain ac­tive is es­sen­tial.”

June worked in re­tail, then as a weaver, be­fore fin­ish­ing her em­ploy­ment do­ing cler­i­cal work.

County Cllr Peter Buck­ley, Lan­cashire County Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for com­mu­nity and cul­tural ser­vices, said: “The home li­brary ser­vice makes an in­cred­i­ble dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives. To some it’s ab­so­lutely in­valu­able.”

“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 is re­ally im­por­tant. It means that some­one is there for a chat.

“Our aim is to serve peo­ple who strug­gle to get to a li­brary, or who can get there but can’t carry the books home.

“We get re­quests for ev­ery­thing, from Mills & Boon right through to re­ally gory crime. Tastes are re­ally var­ied, and we are pleased to find the books that our cus­tomers would en­joy.

“We know that iso­la­tion and lone­li­ness can be a life 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.”

The home li­brary ser­vice has more than 530 cus­tomers. 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.

The county coun­cil is work­ing with the Lan­cashire Vol­un­teer Part­ner­ship in or­der to start us­ing its vol­un­teers again as coron­avirus re­stric­tions are fur­ther re­laxed.

A third of the county coun­cil’s home li­brary ser­vice users are also us­ing Lan­cashire Vol­un­teer Part­ner­ship’s tele­phone be­friend­ing ser­vice. This means that a vol­un­teer rings them on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to have a friendly chat and make sure they are well.

This ser­vice is still avail­able to all peo­ple in Lan­cashire who may feel lonely, iso­lated, vul­ner­a­ble or in need of sup­port. If you know some­one who you feel would ben­e­fit from a wel­fare call why not re­fer them but please ask their per­mis­sion first. The re­fer­ral form for this ser­vice is on the vol­un­teer part­ner­ship’s web­site.

For more in­for­ma­tion, about the home li­brary ser­vice visit www.lan­cashire.gov.uk/li­braries

June with er ear­den ooks

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