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Cost of mobile libraries 'no longer sustainable'

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Published by the Mix96 News Team at 11:21am 1st November 2017.

With over 13,000 fewer people using mobile libraries in Buckinghamshire compared to three years ago, should they continue?

Well the Council Council have opened a survey on their future and how to keep access to services going.

There are only around five customers each time the van pulls up, with 511 regular users.

Mobile Libraries - Infographic

The cost of running the mobile service is high and increasing, with the average cost per item issued at a mobile library being substantially higher than items issued at library buildings.

Under the proposals, current mobile library customers would be served by a range of different options including the Home Library Service, wider provision of online library lending services and working with interested local communities to develop community-based options such as 'click and collect' schemes.

Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said:

"We know that the mobile library service is valued. But in recent years, fewer people have been using it; in the last couple of years one-third of the library service stops had only one customer. The cost of running the service has also increased to the point that it is now really no longer sustainable.

"We'd like to provide a more flexible, community-based library service that is still easily accessible for our mobile library customers, and a service that can be adapted to suit the differing needs of local communities.

"The idea of this consultation is to hear what people think about our proposals and the alternative options available. We hope that as many people as possible will respond to the consultation so that together we can shape a local library service that is better for customers."

The consultation runs until 31 December 2017.

It is available online here and residents can also complete it online in their local library.

Paper copies are also available at main libraries and at mobile library service stops.

For more information on Buckinghamshire's mobile library service visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/libraries

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