Frances Button on the benefits of Enfield Home Library Service
For many of us reading, listening to music and watching a film all provide a stimulus and a window on the world.
But if we don’t have access to these media at home, our local library is an invaluable source of material to brighten lives, educate, and entertain. It is not always easy to get out and about, however, and this is where Enfield Home Library Service comes into its own.
When mobility, disability, or caring responsibilities make it difficult for people to get to their local library, the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), in co-operation with Enfield Council, can help. The home library service delivers loaned books, spoken word and music CDs, plus DVDs, to housebound individuals and their carers every four weeks free of charge.
Shauna Teevan is the community services manager for Enfield Home Library Service. She says: “We deliver to Enfield borough residents in their homes, in residential homes, and recently, a service delivering to a ward at Chase Farm Hospital.”
The service is operated almost entirely by a team of 45 volunteers, who make deliveries and select the books based on either specific requests or general guidelines set by the readers themselves.
The team are also looking for volunteer ‘selectors’ to choose books, issue them using library software, and prep them for delivery and discharge upon their return. The deliveries for each round happen every four weeks and selecting can take anywhere from two to six hours, depending on how the volunteer chooses to go about it. Volunteers work independently so that they can fit it in with their schedule and are able to reserve from home if they prefer using the library catalogue.
Linda Morgan, one of the invaluable RVS volunteers, has been involved in the service for four years and loves the work. She says that she has found the involvement with the people on her rounds to be “a humbling experience”. She adds: “You discover people who have had remarkable lives. They are so grateful and really appreciate the personal contact. There have also been occasions when I have been able to put people in touch with other services and organisations that are relevant.”
The home loan service is free and can be accessed by filling in a form available at your local library or by contacting Shauna.
For more information about Enfield Home Library Service, volunteer or sign up:
Call 07826 511 094
Email [email protected]