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Friday, 1 July 2011

Books on the Move

I'm privileged to have a mobile library that visits our village once a fortnight. Originally set up to visit care homes and sheltered housing for the elderly in our area, it also stops at several villages including ours.

The driver, Gerry, who has won an award for the best mobile librarian, told us this week that because of restructuring, the service will be stopping for slightly less time in future, so we will have to be quick if we want to change our books. It is quite a skill being able to drive this monster down our country lanes, and then still be able to have a conversation about books. The library service is not just about access to books, but about the expertise of the librarians who can help you to find just the title you need.

Last week I nearly forgot it was 'library day' and my husband had to yell, "The library's here!" and I had to hurry up the road to catch it before it left. Inside the van it can be a squash working round the other people who are also returning books or browsing. Evidence of its visits to Care Homes is in the big selection of Large Print books on the shelves. Apparently there are Large Print reading groups in some of the homes.

Magna Books - large is beautiful

The Lady's Slipper is being published by Magna Books in large print. Last week I passed through the small Yorkshire village of Long Preston where they are based and stopped to take this pic.
Long Preston has a lovely village green with a maypole, and an old-fashioned inn. The stone building on the left houses this publisher. Through the windows I could see cardboard boxes of books - I hope mine's in one of them and that soon it will be gracing the shelves of our mobile library and available to borrow at all the care homes the big yellow van visits. And I hope with the advent of ebooks large print companies such as Magna will find a way to continue to survive.


  1. How sad to hear that a service that brings people and books together will come to an end.

    It's a pity we can't get more children and young adults enjoying books maybe the service would have more of a following and be kept on.