Dorset Home Library Service is provided by Dorset Libraries and delivered by Royal Voluntary Service volunteers. Books and talking books are chosen individually for each client and delivered every 3 or 4 weeks by RVS volunteers. It not only provides a link to the library and a regular supply of new reading materials, but also a much looked forward to visit by a trusted volunteer. The Home Library Service is available free of charge to those who cannot easily access the library due to health or mobility issue, including carers, and can be delivered short or long term.
Out of 400 recipients of the service across Dorset, 126 replies were received. Participants were asked about how they rated their book choices, the convenience of the deliveries, and their volunteer. The answers gave a picture of a well-received and organised service, with 86% finding the delivery arrangements convenient, 97% saying their book choices were always or mostly in line with stated preferences, and 99% rating their volunteer as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Roughly half the visits are still carried out as doorstep deliveries following on from tighter guidance during the Covid 19 pandemic, but the other half have now returned to the volunteer entering the home when visiting and delivering books. 94% would recommend the service to family and friends.
Some comments made which are representative of the majority of responses received:
‘Excellent, friendly service, thoughtful choice of books.’
‘While I do make some requests, I do appreciate a ‘random’ selection of books which widens my sphere of reading.’
‘My volunteer brings my books indoors for me and we sit and chat for a bit, which is lovely as I am mostly housebound and live on my own.’
‘So many hours can be lost with your nose in a good book, and nice to have a chat with your volunteer too!’
‘This service is very useful as I can’t leave my husband for long and there is no public transport from our village.’
‘The service is excellent: punctual, appropriate and always delivered with a smile. Books selected are suitable, and content and subject matter always match my mother’s preferences.’
‘This service is a lifeline for those who are housebound. A big thank you for your support!’
To enquire about receiving the Home Library Service please contact Maria Jacobson, RVS Service Manager, on 01305 236666, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or speak to a member of staff at your library.