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27th April 2018 - sadly, owing to lack of use and interest, the second hand library exchange scheme in the church has been terminated. All the books have been removed.

Look for the mobile library van at the Village Green. Always 12.15-13.00
Dates for 2018 (all Wednesdays):-

Jan 17th, Feb 21st, Mar 21st,Apr 18th

May 16th, Jun 20th, July 18th, Aug 15th

Sept 19th, Oct 17th, Nov 21st, Dec 19th

Service provided by Devon County Council (service run from Torrington)

Threat to the Mobile Library Service
Devon County Council is looking at ways to improve its services to rural communities and has recently carried out a consultation exercise to gather views on a variety of proposals. These include:
• extending the Home Library Service, which delivers books and audiobooks direct to people’s homes
• arranging transport to take people to their nearest library
• introducing a Good Neighbour Scheme to enable friends, family members or neighbours to collect and return books on someone else’s behalf
• adhoc, ‘pop-up’ libraries
• investing in a wider range of eBooks, eAudiobooks and digital magazines to increase the range of online material, which all library card holders could access at any time

None of these suggestions rely on library vans so it is no surprise to see that the Council is also considering what to do with their four library vehicles, which are ageing and “have become unreliable, increasingly expensive to run, and carry limited stock”.

The number of people using the mobile library service has fallen by almost a quarter since 2014/15 and the number of mobile library loans has reduced from over 90,000 to 64,000 in that time. A recent assessment of the use of the mobile library in Buckland Brewer indicated that there are no more than a handful of parishioners using it all and that there often no more than one or two users per visit. One comment I heard recently was that “the van doesn’t carry the books I like”. In fact, the library will order almost any book that you want and bring it to you so don’t be afraid to ask if you can’t find the particular book you want on the van.

Sadly, the ‘pop-up library’ that was provided in the church has now been removed as it was not being used and it now seems that, unless there is a startling increase in demand, there will soon be no mobile library van. Please, if you’re an avid reader (or listener or watcher, because you can get CDs, DVDs and all sorts of interesting stuff from the library these days) please make use of the services available because this is another case of “use it or lose it” I’m afraid.

The rural library services consultation formally ended on 28th July, but there is no harm in contacting the Devon Library Service directly or leaving a message on the following web page: if you would like your views heard.

Patrick Blosse, Parish Clerk


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