Penwortham library volunteers offering boxes of books to beat lockdown boredom

Residents of Penwortham are being urged to keep their eyes peeled for a new book initiative on their street corners.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:30 pm

While the Covid crisis has temporarily closed the town's Community Library in Priory Lane, volunteers have decided not to let restrictions stop them from literally spreading the word - about the facility and what it has to offer.

They have come up with the idea of leaving an 'honesty box' of books outside their houses, each filled with a variety of genres for people to take and share.

>>>Read about the community library here

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Janet Wignall, volunteer

Marie Curran, democratic services officer at the Town Council, said: "Lockdown has closed the library, but our volunteers wanted to do something to keep the service available to all, free of charge.

"The idea is that the books are put outside on a dry day and people can take whichever they want, and when they've finished with it, they can bring it back or pass it on themselves."

There is no form to fill out or any interaction needed with volunteers. Hand gel is available next to the books.

Marie added: "We have loads and loads of books, many of which we've been given by St Catherine's Hospice. They're all of good quality and they're for all ages.

Daniel and Ciaran Whitaker with their box of books

"The idea is to combat loneliness and isolation during lockdown. For our elderly, but also for children who've not been able to go to school.

"We've had some great feedback so far. Yesterday one of our volunteers was left a card and a box of Malteasers as a thank you from someone who had taken a book."

The Community Library is operated by Penwortham Town Council in the Priory Lane Community Centre. The Town Council took over the running of the facility in February 2019 from Lancashire County Council.

When it is open normally, hundreds of books are available to borrow, some that have been donated by local people. People are also able to order books from Lancashire County Council libraries and have them delivered to Priory Lane.

There is also the opportunity to use internet and laptop facilities, as well as to get refreshments.

There are around 10 volunteers taking part in the honesty box scheme, who live throughout the town.

For more information on where to find the books or about the community library, visit the Penwortham Town Council Facebook Page by clicking here.

World Book Day

World Book Day is held on the first Thursday of March every year, and is now in its 24th year.

Led by the charity Unesco, it is largely focused on children discovering the pleasures of books and reading by providing them with the opportunity to have a book of their own.

A big part of the day is children being encouraged to dress up for the event as a character from their favourite book.

The charity, along with National Book Tokens Ltd, offers 15 million £1 book tokens to children nationally (one for nearly every child under the age of 18 in the country).

For more on the scheme and the £1 books,