Try something different this Christmas

Pop in and try something new with the ‘Library Choice’ service at Somerset Libraries today.

The Library Choice Service is where library customers complete a simple form advising staff what kind of books and authors they like to read. Staff will then do their best to pick out a number of books which may suit.

The service has been hugely popular over the lockdown periods, with customers saying how much they have enjoyed their ‘mystery reads’ picked out for them by friendly, knowledgeable library staff.

Now a simple drop-in service is on offer so that anyone can come and have a chat and take home something different to try over the Christmas season.

Christmas and New Year can be a particularly difficult time for anyone living alone or feeling sad, anxious or isolated, and having just a little time to have a friendly chat with someone can make a real difference – so come in and let your local librarian share some ideas with you. Most libraries are open during the coming weeks, including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and staff will be on-hand to give advice and information – or just to say hello!

If you love reading crime or romance, why not try a different author or perhaps a whole new genre? Have you ever tried talking books, so you can just sit back and let someone else read a story? (talking books are free for anyone with a visual impairment) or why not let staff show you how to sign up and download free e-Magazines, e-Audiobooks or e-Newspapers, with free back-issues and you can keep them for as long as you like.

Library users could even borrow a DVD for a small fee and watch a film you haven’t seen before, or perhaps re-kindle some memories with one you watched some time ago.

The public computers are also available for anyone who may be struggling with IT at home, although you may need to pre-book a session so staff have time to ensure everything is properly cleaned in line with requirements to make things ‘Covid safe’.

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Community Infrastructure, said: “Somerset Libraries is stepping up again – supporting the community in what for some will be a difficult and lonely time of the year.

“All you need to do to access any of this is drop-in to your local library – if you are not a member or if you would like someone to check if your library membership is still valid that’s fine, the friendly staff will be happy to help, just bring proof of identification with you such as a driving licence or passport.”

For anyone unable to leave their home, the Home Library Service is still able to offer a doorstep delivery service – contact kirsty.Jenssen@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk for details of how to arrange a visit from a volunteer.

To check opening hours of libraries, please visit www.somersetlibraries.co.uk or call 0300 123 2224