Somerset County Council
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Mobile libraries

 

New mobile library routes from 1 August 2015
Following Cabinet Member approval of the recommendations from the public consultation, further revisions to the mobile library routes will come into effect from 1 August 2015.
 
The revised routes are available:

  • in the information and resources section to the right 

  • on the mobile library vans

  • in your local library

The day and possibly the time the service is normally delivered to some communities may have changed. This is a result of having to re-align the routes and deliver to all the stops. Where mobile library stops have been combined, we have tried to take into consideration the views of the Parish Councils about where to hold the remaining stops. 

As a result of introducing new criteria for mobile library visits, some stops will have been withdrawn. We understand that some individuals may be affected by the withdrawal of this service and we would like to suggest some alternative options to support local residents.

SCC Transporting Somerset – many communities have local transport schemes. If you would like to know more about what is available in your community, please visit http://www.movingsomersetforward.co.uk/public-transport or phone Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224.

Alternative to Mobile Library Service Grant Funding (only available to communities where the mobile library service is being withdrawn) – grants of up to £500 are available for one-off initiatives to support your local community access to reading and library resources. For example, a grant could be used to create a ‘pop up’ library facility in your local village hall or to purchase community transport to enable parishioners to visit their nearest library. Grant funding will be available again in January 2016.

Home Library Service
The library service provides the Home Library Service for those who are unable to access library facilities, often to those who are vulnerable or who may have disabilities or mobility needs. To find out how to access these services please contact Libraries Direct on 0300 123 2224 or you can email the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) at kirsty.Jenssen@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk

The service we provide now  
Currently Somerset provides a mobile library service through 80 routes across the county which serve over 2800 customers.

Somerset County Council is facing some challenges over the coming year so the Somerset Library Service is proposing a set of new routes that will help the mobile library service to operate more efficiently reducing the overall number of stops by 90.  Many of the existing stops are no longer used by the public, which is not cost effective.

What are the changes?
The review has shown that operating new routes will ensure existing customers will continue to have a mobile library. Housebound customers can be supported by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) who will give the same service we used to provide.

How will this affect you?
The above changes will not impact greatly on the delivery of the service but may result in some changes to delivery days and or times.

Revised route schedules will be distributed by the mobile library service drivers and are published here.

Need more information?
If you have any concerns or questions about these changes, please speak to the mobile library driver or contact the library service on 0300 123 2224, where an advisor will refer your query to the relevant library manager.

Mobile libraries
The mobile libraries provide a library service to some rural areas in Somerset where there is no static library.

There is a selection of books on many subjects, novels, large print books, books for children and talking books. Other materials, such as DVDs and music CDs can be borrowed on request. The stock is exchanged at regular intervals using material from other libraries.

Wheelchair access is available on all the vehicles. The mobile library driver will help you get on and off the vehicle.

Who can use it?
To use the mobile library service you need to be a member of Somerset Libraries. You can join by completing a membership form and bringing some proof of your name and current address, such as a recent utility bill or a driving licence. A membership card will be issued to you, which you can use in any Somerset library. If you already have a Somerset library membership card, please show this to the staff.

How do I use it?
You can borrow up to 20 items. Books borrowed from mobile libraries are issued for 8 weeks, but other materials (DVDs, music CDs and talking books) are issued for 4 weeks, that is for one visit and a standard loan charge. For example, the standard charge for a one-week loan of a DVD in a library will also apply to a 4-week loan of a DVD from a mobile library.

You can renew items online at www.librarieswest.org.uk or by phone via Libraries Direct 0300 123 2224. Alternatively you can show the books to the mobile library driver for renewing and re-stamping.

If you cannot find the book you want, ask the mobile library driver for help. If the book is not on the mobile, a request can be made and a fee is charged for this service.

What is covered?
Through the mobile library you have access to:

  • books on many subjects

  • novels

  • large print books

  • books for children

  • DVDs

  • music CDs

  • talking books

How much does it cost?
Although no overdue charges are applied on items borrowed from mobile libraries, borrowers are asked to return their loan items by the due date, or to request renewal. DVDs, music CDs and talking books can be borrowed for the standard loan charge.

Where is it?
From August 2015, there will be 161 stops around the county serving 199 communities.

To find your nearest stop and which mobile provides the service, use the Index to the routes. Make a note of the stop code and then turn to the schedules for that mobile and find the route and stop you need. The location of each stop is given as well as the dates of visits for the current year.

When is it open?
The complete list of routes and stops gives the dates and time of each of visit for the current year. If a visit is cancelled, the mobile library staff will try to inform all the customers on the route. Any items due that day are automatically renewed by us until the next visit. It is a good idea to write that new date on the date label.

Contacts

Contact: Libraries Direct
Email: generalenquiries@somerset.gov.uk
Contact no: 0300 123 2224

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