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Your Borough Of Poole

Home Library Service

The Home Library Service provides books and other items to people who are unable to visit the library themselves, and to residential and day care centres.

Home Library Service volunteers
Home Library Service volunteers

Books on Wheels

Poole Libraries work with local volunteers from the Royal Voluntary Service  to provide Books on Wheels, a free delivery service to those who find it difficult to visit the library themselves. You are eligible to receive a free home delivery service if, due to ill-health, disability or age, you:

  • cannot leave your home or
  • cannot carry books or other items, and
  • have no-one to visit the library on your behalf.

All the following can be delivered to your home free-of-charge:

  • a wide range of fiction as well as books on other popular subjects
  • large print books
  • audio books for people with sight problems, illness or disability
  • subtitled videos for people with a hearing impairment
  • information on request on all subjects including health and disability

If you would like to know more, please contact the Home Library Manager, telephone 01202 262472, or ask any member of library staff.

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Being a Books on Wheels Volunteer

We would be unable to deliver books to people's homes without our volunteers. If you have a couple of hours to spare every 3 weeks, you might like to join them. All you have to do is go to someone's home and talk to them about their reading.

What's involved?

It's very straightforward. Your local library will select books ready for you to take on your round. You just drive to the person's home, give them the books you have brought, and take away those they have finished with.

A very important part of the service for our customers is that you spend a little time chatting to the people you visit and get to know them and their reading preferences. Very often you may be that person’s only visitor for several days, so you will be providing a link to the outside world as well as stocking up their reading. Many of our volunteers make great new friends in this way.

After your visits you take the returned books back to the library and pass on any information or requests borrowers have given you.

How much time will it take?

We visit people every three weeks, and, depending on the size of your round, it will take anything from an hour upwards to complete your deliveries.  Round sizes can be from three individuals to about ten, but numbers will vary and your round size may not remain constant. You can tell us if you do not wish the size of your round to increase.

Will I be on my own?

You can volunteer for a round on your own, or with a partner or friend. At the beginning, you'll go round with someone else so that you can see what is involved - we don't want to drop you in at the deep end.

What else do I need to know?

As a volunteer for Books on Wheels, you are expected to join the Royal Voluntary Service, which offers you the benefits associated with belonging to a nationwide organisation. For the security of our clients you will be subject to a vetting procedure carried out by the Royal Voluntary Service.

For more information please contact the Home Library Manager, telephone 01202 262472, or ask any member of library staff.

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Services for people in residential and day care

The Home Library Service provides library services for people who are in sheltered housing, attending day centres or living in residential care.

We can provide the following to centres free-of-charge:

  • ordinary print books
  • large print books
  • audio books
  • short-term loan of tape/CD players and video caption units
  • information on all subjects, including health and disability, on request
  • specific titles/authors on request

Collections are tailored to users' needs and reviewed regularly. The Home Library Service Manager will come and talk to you, the manager, about what your centre needs.

How does it work?

We will exchange your collection every four weeks. We will remind you in advance, and phone you on the morning of the exchange to tell you that the delivery will be arriving.

What do I have to do?

There are a few things we need you to do for us, so that your customers can access the library collections:

  • make sure that there is room for our van to park when we deliver the collection
  • help your customers to use the collection by putting it in a central location and talking to them about their choices
  • pack the books into the crates ready for exchange
  • make sure that all the books are returned on time - your local library will let you know if anything is missing

Interested? Contact the Reading and Access Librarian,  telephone 01202 262452.

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Contact us


01202 262424

Text Relay
18001 01202 262424

Culture & Community Learning
Northmead House
30-32 Northmead Drive
BH17 7RP