Home library service - Southend Library
Alan and Anne are volunteers for the Southend Library Home Service. They devote 4 hours of their time every fortnight to the service.
“A lot of people are quite lonely and appreciate just having a chat”
They are often asked to perform minor chores like changing the battery on a clock or opening a window:
“You don’t realise how many people don’t have family or have very little contact with them”
Southend Libraries offers a free home delivery scheme, which takes the library service direct to people's homes. Anyone who finds it difficult to visit libraries for whatever reason, can receive books in large and ordinary print, audio books, videos, DVD's and other library materials to suit their tastes and needs.
Fortnightly visits by trained volunteers ensure that 260 people across the town can continue to enjoy their library service.
Home Library Service volunteers are quick to point out how enjoyable their visits are, with people always pleased to see them and view their half day a fortnight visits as a pleasant way of helping the community, and giving something back.
- volunteers with the Home Library Service visit people with disabilities, older people and Carers who cannot easily use their local library
- volunteers are teamed up in pairs and make fortnightly visits to customers in the same part of town
- the service is organised by Library Community Services, who provide full training and support to library volunteers
- volunteers use their own cars Southend Borough Libraries pay a mileage allowance.