Somerset County Council

Mobile libraries


Latest news: New mobile library routes from 1 September 2014
The mobile library service is operating a new set of routes as of 1 September 2014. Be assured, it will continue to provide a comprehensive service across towns in Somerset, but it may result in changes to delivery days and/or times.

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 1August 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 as where to hold the remaining stop/s. 

As a result of introducing new criteria for mobile library visits some stops will have been withdrawn.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. Please visit library-service-consultation for further information on this.

The service we provide now  
Currently Somerset provide mobile library services through 80 routes across the county which serve over 2800 customers who are unable to access a local library, including a relatively small number of stops serving housebound customers. The existing routes have been in place since 2012 and now require a review to make sure they operate as efficiently as possible and remove the large number of stops currently made which are no longer used by 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.

What are the changes?
The review has shown that operating new routes will ensure existing customers will continue to have a mobile library with those housebound customers being supported by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) who will give the same service we provided.

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 either with the mobile library driver/assistant or contact the 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 rural areas in Somerset where there is no static library. From August 2012, four mobile libraries rejoined the Bridgwater and Wincanton mobiles to provide a service to a further 280 communities.

There is a selection of books on many subjects, novels, large print books and books for children and 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 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 just 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, one visit and for the 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 on the LibrariesWest website 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 staff for help. You can also use the computer terminal which offers an on-line link to the LibrariesWest website. 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 long does it take?
The mobile libraries work to a four week timetable.

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?
There are currently over 300 stops around the county serving all the rural areas. To find if there is a stop near you please refer to the complete list of routes and stops.

To find the route nearest to you use the Index to the routes to see if there is a stop near you and which mobile provides the service. Make a note of the stop code and then turn to the schedules for that mobile and find the route 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.


Contact: Libraries Direct
Contact no: 0300 123 2224

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