Home Library & Befriending Service

Hertfordshire Libraries provides the Home Library Service delivering books to some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in the county. Many of our customers regard the service as a “lifeline,” and value the regular collections of books which are tailored to their interests and delivered to them in their own home by a friendly and familiar face.

Approximately three hundred people now receive the Home Library Service made possible with the support of over a hundred DBS checked, trained, and dedicated volunteers.

It is not just the selection and the delivery of books which our customers appreciate, but also the opportunity for important contact and a chat. This is something that customers look forward to and that volunteers find rewarding.

To help develop this service further, Hertfordshire Libraries have launched our Reading Friends scheme. This enables library staff or volunteers to have a telephone call with Home Library Service customers about their favourite books, television programme or any topic of interest. The initial response to these befriending telephone calls has been very positive and demonstrates the importance for this work to expand.

The Home Library Service supports people who are unable to get to the library, for example those who:
• have a physical disability which prevents travelling to a library
• have a learning disability or mental health condition that makes it difficult to leave home
• are registered blind (severely sight impaired)
• are frail or in poor health which means they can’t get to a library
• are a carer looking after someone affected by any of the above, and their caring responsibilities prevent them from getting to the library.

If you know of anyone who is eligible and would like to receive the Home Library Service, please contact your library via the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4049 or share the link below to apply. When customers are enrolled to the service they will also be offered the opportunity to join the Reading Friends scheme:

If you are aware of anyone who may be considering becoming a Home Library Service volunteer, please share the link below to our volunteering pages on the council website: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/support-your-library/volunteering-at-your-library.aspx

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