The Home Library Service is provided to customers who, for a variety of reasons, cannot use the conventional library service. These customers may be living in their own homes, or living in:

  • residential or nursing establishments; they can be private, housing association, or statutory establishments provided by the local authority.
  • sheltered housing provided by either the local authority or a private housing association.

Who the Home Library Service is for

The Home Library Service is offered to someone who is unable to:

  • leave the home
  • travel to the library
  • gain easy access to the library, for example, due to poor facilities for users with a mobility problem
  • carry materials to or from the library

The Home Library Service serves those who experience a combination of the above criteria and may include:

  • those who are so elderly and frail or infirm that it prevents them using a conventional service point or other collection
  • those with physical difficulties
  • those with sensory disabilities, especially severe visual impairment
  • those with profound or severe learning difficulties
  • those with certain mental health problems which make it difficult to leave the home
  • those suffering from long term illness
  • those who are culturally isolated in the home
  • carers who are unable to leave the home for any length of time

The need may be long, seasonal (illness or disability worsened by bad weather conditions) or temporary (following a severe accident or recuperating from a serious illness.)

People who are housebound and living at home or in sheltered accommodation

(Free of charge)

This service for customers who are housebound and living at home or in sheltered accommodation is delivered by Royal Voluntary Service volunteers who are commissioned by the library service. The RVS volunteers will assess whether the service criteria are met, and the individual reading needs. They will deliver books, fiction and non-fiction, and talking books to you on a regular basis. In addition, the library's wide range of virtual resources are also available the individuals with computers, tablets, or e-readers. These e-resources include magazines, books, and audio books.

For more details, contact the Royal Voluntary Service and a member of staff will call to see if we can help you use the library service.

Royal Voluntary Service

Maria Jacobson: service manager for Dorset and BCP Home Library Service

Postal address: The Old School House, 49 High West Street, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UT

Office: 01305 236666

Mobile: 07786 635154



For people in residential or nursing homes

(Free of charge)

For customers wishing to use the library service and who are living in residential or nursing homes, we will provide a book collection which reflects reading tastes. The collection will be delivered to the homes on a 5-week basis, with up to 10 collections per year. Individuals in residential settings who have their own library membership will also be able to access the library service through the Good Neighbour scheme. This scheme enables a friend/relative/care worker to assist an individual by requesting and collecting books on their behalf at a local library.

In addition, the library's wide range of virtual resources are also available to individuals with computers, tablets, or e-readers. These resources include magazines, print and audio books. 

Contact us for more information:

Dorset Library Service

Tel: 01305 225000
Full contact details