Mobile library service ‘at risk’ in consultation
The future of mobile libraries in Chronicle country is under scrutiny as Central Beds Council looks to cut £37,000 from the service.
The council has now launched a public consultation to reshape its Library Link and Housebound Service.
The Library Link Service provides access to books and reading material for residents who are unable to visit a library building via a mobile library vehicle that provides a ‘walk-on’ service and lounge delivery service to sheltered and residential homes, and provides a door-to-door service where ‘Book Bundles’ are delivered to the homes of residents who have a disability or mobility issues.
There were 241 regular users of the service in 2014/15.
The Council needs to develop capacity to meet the increasing need for the Housebound Service in line with the growing and ageing population.
Its’ preferred option is to stop providing the mobile library vehicle ‘walk-on’ service and focus on providing book bundles.
This bespoke service will initially be supported by library staff before transitioning to a volunteer-led service.
A re-configured lounge collection service will be offered to sheltered and residential homes.
The Council begins a 45-day public consultation today and ends on September 18. There are two questionnaires online at: http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “We are committed to providing a library service that is flexible, adaptable and fit for the future. We believe we can respond to customer needs in a more efficient, bespoke way, which will provide them with a better experience of our home delivery services. I would urge residents to have their say in shaping our library services for the future.”