A HOME library service has proved to be a big hit for North Yorkshire residents, with thousands of books and audio books exchanged.

The long-running Home Library Service is an integral part of the county’s social support system and during the coronavirus lockdown, it has provided a lifeline for more residents.

The service was established to allow those unable to visit libraries to receive regular book deliveries to their homes, with the added bonus of social contact with the network of volunteers who make the deliveries and collections.

Around 1,400 people across North Yorkshire currently benefit from the service and last year’s Covid restrictions and lockdowns saw increased demand for the service.

The scale of the operation is reflected in the fact that in the last two months of last year 7,628 books and audio books were delivered to more than 900 people.

Annually, a team of around 250 volunteers put in around 14,500 hours of work, making around 11,500 visits.

County Council general manager for libraries, Chrys Mellor, said: “It tends to be seen as a service for the elderly, but it is there for anyone who can’t get out.

"That means some children’s book deliveries have been made alongside those for adults, where parents have been isolating or unable to leave their homes for other reasons."

She added: “We are reliant and grateful that we have such an army of volunteers out there."