A NEW scheme has been introduced which scraps library fines for carers in Powys.

Powys County Council’s Library Service is introducing a new borrower’s category to help carers across Powys. Carers will be able to borrow up to 20 books at a time for themselves and the person that they care for. It is recognised that it is often difficult for carers to get to the library so there will be no fines on these books if they are late back.

This library card will enable the loan of library materials in a wide range of formats, to support the enjoyment, literacy, mental wellbeing, information and learning needs of both the person being cared for, and the carer(s) themselves. No fines will apply to books borrowed on a carers’ card, meaning that no-one need be disadvantaged through poverty.

The library service has a wide range of self-help, information books and leaflets about many conditions, as well as mood boosting fiction titles; it has been proven that reading for pleasure for as little as six minutes a day has a dramatic effect on reducing stress levels.

The library also has a host of online services which may be a help to carers who find it difficult to get out and about; library books can be renewed online, and reservations placed for titles to be delivered to the Powys library of choice, including the mobile library. There is a range of e-books and e-audio downloads for use from home, as well as links to educational resources for studying.

Cllr Rachel Powell, who is the council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries, said: “We all recognise the immense value of carers in our communities and it is very pleasing to be able to offer something in return by removing barriers to the use of the vast resources of our library service.”

The “carers’ card” was launched at a special reception in County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, during National Libraries Week 2018.

Guests took part in a shared reading session led by Ann Jones, who highlighted the significant health and wellbeing benefits of reading aloud and sharing stories in groups or on a one-to-one basis in people’s homes.

Carers who would like to obtain this service should ask for details in their local library.

PICTURED: Cllr Rachel Powell, (seated, second from left) and reader Ann Jones (seated second from right) are joined by guests from (from left, seated) Kay Thomas, Powys County Council’s Principal Librarian, Jen O'Hara Jakeway, Chief Executive Officer with Credu and (standing, from left) Adrian Andrew of Powys County Council, Kate Doody, Kathryn Jarvis, Diane Jones and Chris Leighton of Credu.