Mobile libraries to stop running in Bucks at the end of the month

Image of one of Bucks County Council's mobile library vans
Image of one of Bucks County Council's mobile library vans

Bucks County Council has announced it is axing the county’s mobile library services at the end of the month.

Following a public consultation, the council took the decision to discontinue the service, citing financial pressures.

The removal of the three vehicles is expected to save £113,000 in Year One and £180,000 each year thereafter.

Noel Brown, cabinet member for community engagement and public health, said: “The county council is facing huge financial pressures, with a steadily reducing budget over the last few years as well as budget pressures being intensified by other factors, including meeting the needs of a rapidly growing and changing population.

“The mobile library service is an expensive one to run, and we know that the amount of people who solely use this service has fallen over time – for example, over the last two years, three-quarters of the mobile service stops have an average of four or less customers at a time, and over one-third of the service stops had only one customer.

“Following a full and wide-ranging public consultation, the decision has been made to discontinue the mobile library service in its present form, and to provide community-based library services in other ways to enable people to continue to access library services.

“We are putting in place a variety of alternatives for people who struggle to visit library buildings, so that all our mobile library customers still have the opportunity to use library services.

“These include:

> The home library service where a named volunteer visits you at home each month at a convenient time with a selection of books to match your interests

> A library buddy, a scheme where your trusted friend, neighbour or family member visits a library to borrow and return items on your behalf

> Click and collect, where you reserve books over the phone or online to be collected from a nearby venue

> Local community book collections, a small selection of books provided to an accessible local building for you to borrow from

> Our online eLibrary service offers a full range of downloadable books, audiobooks and magazines

“These alternatives will ensure as far as possible that everyone who wants to access library services in Buckinghamshire in future, will be able to do so.”