Last Friday saw me go out into the community to a lovely little rural hamlet called Bathpool.  I was in search of the Mobile Library Service that goes around the county delivering library books to people who can't get to a main library.  

After around 40 minutes of driving and, having ventured down some very interesting (!) and narrow beautiful country lanes, I arrived at my destination.  Without being able to see where I was going due to the high Cornish hedges, I'd arrived in Bathpool to find a sleepy little hamlet with only a few houses and a few cars.  I then parked up, having found the mobile library van and, on first glance, there was no one to be seen.  (I began wondering why I'd driven for 45 minutes into deepest Cornwall to find there were no customers!)  Then, within a few minutes, folk started to arrive and before long a queue had formed at the steps of the van!  They then entered one by one exchanging their books with Jo together with anecdotes and their verbal diaries from the preceding week - the sound of much chatter and laughter came rang from inside.

I then met Fred a young gentleman of 91 who told me how he was widowed last year and how the community had rallied round to support him through his dark days.  All of the customers of the mobile library have become friends and are now a support network to each other.  They have no shop and no community centre and whether the bus comes along is a bit like spotting a four-leafed clover.  Amongst the customers is an 82 year old lady who walks 3/4mile to get there and there is also the wonderful 'taxi driver' - another gentleman who drives those down who aren't mobile enough to be able to walk.  

For Jo this is just a small part of her round but for these people it is a big part of their lives  - not only is Jo delivering library books but she is also nurturing community spirit and neighbourliness.  Without this service, these people would not be reading, moving about and socialising together - this is so much more than library books!

Currently, the mobile library only visits once every four weeks for 20 minutes....wouldn't it be great if Jo could visit more often?!

I forgot to say of course that, when asked what sort of books they like, Fred showed me that he had picked up a book on yoga and was planning to start practising again - just brilliant!!!