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Central Bedfordshire Libraries

This article was published in June 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireLibrary Service Review and 'Big Library Debate'

Residents in Central Bedfordshire are being encouraged to take part in the ‘Big Library Debate’ which will look at shaping the Library Service, making sure it meets the needs of future generations and offers best value for money.

Central Bedfordshire Libraries are at the heart of local communities and provide a gateway to information, learning and resources for all ages and the Council wants to ensure that the service is fit for the 21st century, making best use of modern technology and allowing easy access for all to benefit.

Between the 1 June and 13 July, the 'Big Library Debate' display stands will be based at Libraries across Central Bedfordshire on the dates listed below and we would be delighted to see you there.

1-10 June 15-28 June 1-12 July
Dunstable Library Leighton Buzzard Library Biggleswade Library
Ampthill Library Flitwick Library Toddington Library
Sandy Library Potton Library Stotfold Library
Shefford Library Barton Library Houghton Regis Library

We also want to hear from people who don’t use the library service so we will be out and about in town centres and the Let’s Talk Together meetings talking to local people too. Details of all activities will be available online from Wednesday 1 June. If you have any ideas of local community events we could attend or ways of promoting the 'Big Library Debate' then please let us know.

Additionally, we will be holding some discussion groups to hear in more depth how service users and non users think the library service should be developed for the future.

The feedback from these engagement activities will help inform the Library Service Review and options for the future model of the library service. Further consultation with the public, stakeholders and partners on these options will then begin in August.

If you want to find out more about libraries in general or the Big Library Debate please email Kate McFarlane or Nicola Avery.

Yours sincerely,
Nicola Avery
Library Services Manager
Central Bedfordshire Council

Changes to the Mobile Library Service

This article was published in April 2009. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Mobile LibraryStarting 7th April 2009, the Mobile Library will visit Eaton Bray on alternate Tuesdays.

This service is looked after by Biggleswade Library which can be contacted on 01767 312324.

The new times that the Mobile Library will arrive on alternate Tuesdays are:

Cantilupe Close13:4014:05
Church Lane14:1014:35
Knight's Close14:4014:55
Medley Close15:0015:15
Moor End15:2015:45

See also: Eaton Bray Mobile Library Service

A New Future for Mobile Library Service

This article was published in October 2005. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

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."

A Library Link vehicleThe 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

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