A New Future for Mobile Library Service
Posted on October 23, 2005
Bedfordshire's mobile library service is about to face some important changes which may affect you.
The council currently provides one Library Link vehicle, which serves residential homes and sheltered accomodation, and four mobile library vehicles, which serve the local community.
The council proposes increasing the Library Link service from one vehicle to two and reducing the mobile service from four vehicles to two. These changes match customers' changed demand. Many more customers want to use the Library Link service whilst use of the mobile service has declined. Our changes are a direct response to meet your expectations.
It is also proposed that one of the existing mobile library vehicles should be replaced by a smaller vehicle, which will be used to deliver the county's expanding Bookstart service. Bookstart provides valuable reading information packs to the parents of babies and young children. Previously, the service was provided to nine-month-old children only, but under new government requirements, the scheme has been extended to cater for children aged nine months, 18 to 30 months and three to four years.
Cllr Lynne Faulkner, Bedfordshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for Cultural Services, is herself a mother of two, with three grandchildren under the age of three. She said: "I'm delighted the exciting Bookstart scheme has been extended to include all babies and toddlers up to the age of four. In future, this imaginative learning programme will be delivered direct to parents so they can encourage their small children to read and enjoy books at an early age."
The new vehicle will also be used to make additional deliveries to residential homes and to the local community in the longer term.
Cllr Faulkner added: "Our aim is to refocus the mobile service and to meet the changing needs of our customers in the 21st century, especially children and older residents. This change also gives us the opportunity to review the routes taken by the mobile and Library Link vehicles to maximise the benefits of the service provided to the local community."
A public consultation is being carried out before any changes are made to the routes followed by the mobile and Library Link vehicles and there will be further concultation and monitoring after the changes come into effect. For more information please call 01234 228752 or log on to www.bedfordshire.gov.uk.
Update: There has been a change to our plans and the new mobile routes will not take effect until Monday 28th November. This gives you more time to send in your views. Please see Review of Mobile Library Routes for more information.
Update 2: Bedford Today has picked up on the story today - Mobile library cut threat - "Mobile library services in rural Bedfordshire could be under threat as part of a cost-cutting move by County Hall, according to a borough councillor."
Source: Bedfordshire, Issue 43, October-November 2005
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