A LIBRARY revolution could soon come to Oxfordshire under new plans to expand a home book delivery scheme and roll out new services.

Oxfordshire County Council wants to make sure more elderly and housebound people are able to borrow books by improving its home library service, used by 233 customers last year.

The authority also plans to bring more council services into libraries in the county so people can get help and assistance in their community rather than having to travel to Oxford or Banbury.

It hopes the growth in the home library service can offset the possible closure of the county’s mobile libraries as part of budget cuts in the coming years.

Witney’s Sheila Rickwood is one of six people in the area who collect books from the town’s library and take them to 10 elderly and infirm customers.

The 75-year-old said: “Once a fortnight on a Monday morning we select books for our customers and call at their homes and take them a selection.

“We get to know our clients and what they like to read and we pick five or six books and they normally take a couple of those .”

Mrs Rickwood said she and her fellow volunteers wanted more people to sign up for deliveries but also expected they would need help as the service grows.

The retired teacher said: “We need both things really, the more customers we get the more volunteers we are going to need .”

Proposals to save £1m by closing all five mobile libraries in the county, cutting the fund for books and reducing library staff were among £52.5m of possible savings suggested by Oxfordshire County Council.

New plans would also see council customer service advisers based in libraries rather than in County Hall in Oxford.

This is intended to help anyone walk into a library and access council services online, with help from staff.

County council cabinet member for cultural and community services, Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, said she was upbeat about the future of libraries.

She said: “I am excited about it. It is a different service and it I hope it is going to be more useful and more relevant to people across the county .

“ We envisage the home library service will be based very much in communities, so it will be friends and volunteers going to collect books from the pub or the shop and delivering them to homes of people they know and whose reading preferences they understand.”

To find out more about the home library service visit oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/home-library-service