Warwickshire Libraries have operated a Home Delivery Service with the help of volunteers since 1992. Originally consisting of ex-Library staff, the volunteer team has swelled to an unbelievable 56 members, all of whom dedicate their own time into selecting books and delivering them to over 400 isolated and vulnerable library customers in their own homes.
Many of our volunteers have been with us for over 16 years, which clearly demonstrates the pleasure they receive from helping out. One comment I had was that it “gave her a reason to get up in the morning.”
Some volunteers commit to a morning or afternoon in our office at Kenilworth Library to pick books for our customers. This can be very simple, from choosing a few Mills and Boon Large Print to trying to find a Dick Francis novel” without the horses”….or a “crime novel with no murder”. It is a huge responsibility to select the “right” books for people who rely on them so much and the volunteers really go the extra mile to do this, sometimes spending an hour on one customer alone.
Other volunteers team up in pairs to deliver the books in our dedicated vans. We have 29 routes covering the whole County every four weeks. They can spend a morning or an entire day visiting customers and we take information such as Age UK, fire safety, pensions (and more) along. It is as much a social visit as a book drop-off and the volunteers are a reliable, regular, friendly face.
We receive some wonderful comments from the customers whom we know consider the Service a lifeline. Unfortunately, surveys can’t quantify the difference made to our customers’ lives.
We have one lady who takes the time and trouble to write a thank you note each visit which always includes comments such as “my continued thanks for all the pleasure your Service gives me”.
Every day is different in our office, with a different team of volunteers in each day, doing different things. They are a terrific Team and we took great pleasure recently in successfully nominating them for a WOW award.
I hope the Volunteers know that they are greatly appreciated by staff and customers alike and certainly we could not possibly provide the service without the hours they readily put in.
If you would like to find out more about our Home Library Service then please get in contact: