The new mobile library routes will begin this Wednesday (3rd August).
In February this year, Northamptonshire County Council made a decision to reduce the mobile library service from four to two as part of ongoing efforts to save £73m during 2011/12.
The council consulted with all mobile library users to understand how they use the service and to gauge whether they are able to use another static library instead or join the Home Library service which is offered through volunteers.
Responses received during the consultation were analysed and used to shape the new mobile library routes which include a change in the frequency and number of stops whilst also focussing on those customers who completely rely on the mobile library service and cannot choose an alternative.
In order to attract more users to the mobile library service, the new routes also include early evenings and Saturday and Sunday visits, therefore making sure the service is available at times to suit the whole community.
Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for customer services said:
“Following our extensive budget consultation we agreed to reduce the mobile library service from four to two.
“However the new routes that are being launched this week represent far more than simply a 50% reduction. We are launching a transformed service that will go out to communities when and where they are really needed.
“As well as the changes being made to the frequency of mobile library visits and the number of stops, the new mobile library service now includes evening and weekend visits too. This means it will be available at the times most people are at home, therefore encouraging new borrowers and securing a long-term future for the service.”
The mobile library vehicles will set off for the first time on the new routes on Wednesday (3rd) from Daventry library at 12:30pm and 1:20pm from Wellingborough Library.
The reduction in the mobile library service will save £67,000
To design the new routes, the council identified all those customers who only borrowed from a mobile library (and not a static library) over the last 12 months. Where there was just one customer who only borrowed from the mobile, they have been offered the Home Library service instead. Where there was more than one such customer, they will continue to receive a mobile library service in their area.
Home Library Service
This is a free service for customers who are unable to get to the library, either through age or disability. For more information visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/libraryservice