Give us your views on the future of Buckinghamshire’s Mobile Library Service
The County Council’s budget has been steadily reducing in recent years, and there is now much less money available to us for funding all of the services that we have previously provided to our residents. The library service has generated savings of £2,350,000 over the last eight years and this represents a reduction to our budget of approximately 40%. We have saved money through a combination of measures including management and staffing reviews, reducing back-room costs, making systems and processes more streamlined and the introduction of community libraries.
The library service still has a challenging savings target, with over £500,000 needed to be saved over the next two years, and so we need to continue to look critically and creatively at every aspect of the service we provide. When we reviewed mobile library usage over the last two years we looked at the number of customers using our library services. We found that 511 customers solely use mobile libraries and do not visit a library building. We also found that at one third of the service stops made by our mobile library vehicles there was only one mobile customer using the service. The cost of running the mobile service is also high and increasing, with the average cost per item issued at a mobile library being substantially higher than items issued at library buildings.
We are proposing that from May 2018 the current mobile library service is discontinued. However, we are committed to ensuring that all of our mobile library customers will still be able to access library services and so we are proposing to put in place alternative community-based options.
We would like to know what you think of our proposals for discontinuing the current mobile library vehicle service and for your views on alternative options that we could develop. Under our proposals, mobile library customers could be served by a range of different options including theBuckinghamshire Mobile Library Service Consultation 2017 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. We want to provide a more flexible, community-based library service that is still easily accessible for all of our library customers, and a service that can be adapted to suit the differing needs of local communities.
We want you to get involved and let us know your views through this consultation – this is your opportunity to have your say on our proposals and share your own ideas. We hope that as many people as possible will take part in the consultation so that together we can shape a library service for the future.
All of the details are available here Buckinghamshire Mobile Library Service Consultation 2017
Have your say online at: www.tinyurl.com/bucksmobile
Or fill in a paper consultation at any Buckinghamshire library and mobile library service stop.
Open until 31 December 2017