A FORMER Oxfordshire librarian who rekindled her love of books thanks to a "lifeline" library service has called on more people to volunteer for the scheme.

Edna Malcher, who lives in Banbury, gets books delivered to her front door as part of a home library service.

But the 88-year-old is urging for more people to give up their time and allow the county council to expand its current service.

She said: "The person 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.

"It’s very important to make a good impression – I’ve seen that from both sides having worked for the library and now using the home library service".

Volunteers organise drop-off times with the people they deliver to, making the role easy to fit around existing commitments.

Mrs Malcher added: "It’s an opportunity for them to learn a lot about people and to be on their level.

"You have a lot of different types of people and you have to be prepared to talk to all sorts.

"I remember when I worked at Deddington Library, one of the doctors came out of the surgery and said 'can I have a book by a South African with a beard?'

"I used to love working there with all different types of people, it’s a most interesting job, it really is".

Expenses are paid for volunteers and they are able to do as many or as few journeys as they wish.

Volunteer Alison Baxter, from Temple Cowley, said: "After I retired I was looking for useful ways to fill my time and chose the home library service because it was something I felt strongly about.

"I would be devastated if I could no longer access a library and I don’t want that to happen to other people.

"It isn’t a big commitment and can be fitted in easily around the rest of my life, it only takes an hour or so every three weeks.

"The service is important to the lady I visit because she needs something to occupy her time and I think she also enjoys having someone drop in for a chat because she doesn’t get out as much as she used to".

Oxfordshire County Council's member for cultural services Lorraine Lindsay Gale said: "Volunteers are a friendly face who can stop by once every three weeks to bring customers some new books or CDs and spend some time to share their own stories.

"The home library service brings entertainment, pleasure and human contact to people, where they may otherwise have little or none.

"We’d love to hear from anyone interested in making a positive difference to the lives of people in the community who need a bit of extra help".

For more information visit: oxfordshire.gov.uk/homelibrary