CARERS are to receive an improved service at Devon's libraries after the county council introduces new terms that recognise their lifestyle and role.

Research by Devon County Council suggests that many carers find barriers to library use including a lack of time to visit, a lack of regular routine and difficulty in planning ahead, due to the demands placed on their time.

To make it easier, from next Wednesday (December 1), carers will be given free loans of audio books, free loans of music CDs and reduced overdue charges and reservation fees.

The changes will bring carers entitlements in line with those for disabled library users.

About 6,000 carers in Devon currently have 'Alert' cards from Devon Carers Link, although all Devon carers - an estimated 70,000 people - are eligible for the cards.

All carers need to do to update their library entitlement is present their 'Alert' cards to library staff on a single occasion.

Foster carers will also be eligible for the enhanced service, on presentation of their Foster Carer ID Card.