Improved mobile library service for Dunkeswell

Saturday service and longer stops to be introduced.

DUNKESWELL is one of nine communities in Devon scheduled to benefit from an improved mobile library service from the New Year.

The mobile service will stop for one hour at the community centre and half an hour at the village hall on Wednesdays, and, on Saturdays, at the community centre for three hours - both on alternate weeks.

Devon County Council agreed in June to set a new criteria for their mobile library service, focusing resources on communities that do not have permanent libraries nearby.

The new service will see library vans stopping for longer in central locations, linked, where possible, to existing facilities.

The longer hours will mean some workers and school children will be able to use the service for the first time.

The new timetables, now published, increase access to mobile libraries in rural communities by almost 300 hours a year.

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Devon County Councillor Stuart Barker said: “Mobile library users, and town and parish councils, have told us that they would like longer stopping times to give people more chance to browse. They would like a wider range of stock on our vehicles, and some would like an opportunity for us to extend the range of services, to perhaps include service information from other agencies.

“I am very pleased to be able to deliver on these requests and that the new mobile library service will reflect the changes requested especially as the mobile library will be more accessible at times that communities want them.

“For anyone physically unable to get to any of our libraries or use the mobile library service we can arrange a free home delivery service, which uses WRVS volunteers, to deliver books to them at home.”

The mobile library service was last reviewed by the council in 1997 and, since then, users of the service have declined considerably - by 40 percent. During the same period, usage of the council’s permanent libraries has increased.