Volunteers needed to help book lovers keep in touch

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A former librarian from Banbury has rekindled her love of books, thanks to a voluntary service which brings the joy of reading to people who can’t access their local library.

Edna Malcher, aged 88, gets books delivered by the Home Library Service operating in the North Oxfordshire area.

And she is urging more people to give up some time to help the scheme grow.

According to Edna, who used to work at Banbury and Deddington libraries, the service is a ‘lifeline’, enabling her to connect with others in the community and share her passion for reading.

She said: “The volunteer who comes to visit is very nice and friendly.

“I get the bag ready for him to swap and he makes sure that he brings books that I’m interested in or have requested.

“The main thing is having contact with someone, especially someone so pleasant.

“Some of the volunteers borrow books from my shelf when they bring in books for me.

“I’ve also struck up a friendship with a neighbour over our love of books.”

Volunteers can fit the role around their existing commitments to organise drop-off times with the people they deliver to.

Expenses are paid and volunteers can do as many or as few journeys as they wish.

Volunteer Gracie Reynolds said: “I know the importance of having literature and company in my life now I’m living alone, so I thought it’s important to reach out to others who may not have much contact with the outside world.

“It’s fulfilling and very rewarding.

“The ladies I deliver to are keen to chat and talk about the authors and the plots.”

For more information, visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/homelibrary