Gloucestershire County Council unveil new mobile library in Saul

Gazette Series: Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, in the mobile library looking at one of the laptop computers with Layla Aldridge, three, and Jasper Dyer, three, from Saul Under Fives Playgroup at the launch Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, in the mobile library looking at one of the laptop computers with Layla Aldridge, three, and Jasper Dyer, three, from Saul Under Fives Playgroup at the launch

A NEW mobile library service has been launched in the county in a bid to bridge the gap between communities.

Gloucestershire County Council officially opened its newly refurbished mobile library at St James Church, in Saul, on Monday, January 28.

Now, in addition to borrowing books, customers can use a computer to access the internet and obtain information from a range of public sector partner organisations.

The new mobile stops at 56 locations in rural areas throughout the county and visits on a regular four-week cycle, with a full list of stops and timetables available on the county council’s website.

Leader of Gloucestershire County Council Cllr Mark Hawthorne, who was at the unveiling, said: "With our network of static libraries, virtual library and the mobile service, we feel that we have a comprehensive and flexible package of services for everyone in the county.

"Libraries are often seen as the front door to other council services and those of our partner agencies in Gloucestershire, and this important function should not be forgotten."

However spokesman for Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries Johanna Anderson said this was disingenuous of the council leader.

"He was determined to slash public libraries by 43 per cent and axe all of the mobile libraries," she said.

“Had he and his administration taken the time to listen to people, they might have seen the importance of our libraries more than two years ago, before leading the county into a court case that has so far cost the taxpayer £238,000, because Gloucestershire County Council failed to take into account how the closures would affect vulnerable groups."

Comments (3)

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12:45pm Tue 5 Feb 13

johannaa123 says...

An important point omitted here is that Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries are particularly concerned about GCC’s strategy to make longer stops at bigger towns and villages and to miss out smaller ones altogether. This misguided decision leaves those very users most in need of mobile services with no library access at all. GCC justifies this change by stating that:

“The average length of the stops has been increased to enable a wide range of people to have the opportunity to visit.”

Whilst this is of benefit to those people within reach of the planned stops, it only serves to isolate further the residents of smaller hamlets and villages, inadequately served by public transport. It rather defeats the point of a mobile library service.
This decision was poorly consulted on and it left many users out in the cold.
An important point omitted here is that Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries are particularly concerned about GCC’s strategy to make longer stops at bigger towns and villages and to miss out smaller ones altogether. This misguided decision leaves those very users most in need of mobile services with no library access at all. GCC justifies this change by stating that: “The average length of the stops has been increased to enable a wide range of people to have the opportunity to visit.” Whilst this is of benefit to those people within reach of the planned stops, it only serves to isolate further the residents of smaller hamlets and villages, inadequately served by public transport. It rather defeats the point of a mobile library service. This decision was poorly consulted on and it left many users out in the cold. johannaa123

12:57pm Tue 5 Feb 13

johannaa123 says...

No wonder Cllr Hawthorne is looking a little red faced.
No wonder Cllr Hawthorne is looking a little red faced. johannaa123

1:17pm Tue 5 Feb 13

carlin says...

How shortsighted can hawthorne and gcc get, the new mobile library goes through our village on its way to 2 villages which both have 2 hour long stops and will not allow it to stop for 10 mins to allow the few users here to access library books when their nearest library is 2 miles away. They would rather pay volunteer services to ferry people to the static library and pay for books and delivery to a local point. Really stupid waste of money but then gcc were willing to lose am expensive court case on the library plans
How shortsighted can hawthorne and gcc get, the new mobile library goes through our village on its way to 2 villages which both have 2 hour long stops and will not allow it to stop for 10 mins to allow the few users here to access library books when their nearest library is 2 miles away. They would rather pay volunteer services to ferry people to the static library and pay for books and delivery to a local point. Really stupid waste of money but then gcc were willing to lose am expensive court case on the library plans carlin

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