North Yorkshire’s home library service resumes

Avid readers across North Yorkshire have praised the home library service for its continued support as lockdown restrictions are relaxed.

Jaqui Fenwick Skipton

Its hardworking volunteers deliver books free of charge to people who are unable to visit their local library due to disability, illness, or because they are caring for someone.

Although most of the county’s libraries have safely reopened, many people are still choosing to limit their contact.

Edith Beckley, 96, lives in Harrogate and praises the service for giving her access to audio books. She said: “I don’t get out very much and can’t really see well enough to watch TV so I love the audio books I get from the library. I rationed the ones I had when lockdown started and made them last over two months but I missed them so much when I ran out.

“It was so good when the service restarted. The volunteers have become friends too and when they couldn’t visit they rang me every week during lockdown just for a chat.”

Home library service volunteers select books and audio books for delivery. All books are left on a pre-arranged date in a secure place and collected and quarantined afterwards.

In July a Select and Collect service was launched, providing customers with one-off collections of books for those who don’t want regular deliveries.

Doris Guiseley, 92, from Harrogate, added: “I’ve had the service since I was 80 and to me it is a godsend. I’m an avid reader and can get lost in a good book, it’s what keeps me going. I recommend it to everyone I meet and tell them it’s a brilliant service.”

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “I’m delighted to see the return of this much-loved service which operates from most of our libraries, including community libraries.

“I would encourage more people to take advantage of our brilliant service. If you or someone you know would benefit please get in touch.”

All details and updates can be found here.

To find out more about receiving the service or about volunteering to deliver books, please contact your local library, call 01609 533878 or email libraries@northyorks.gov.uk

This story was published 7 September 2020