Mobile Library Provision
Proposals to enhance mobile Library services in the County will be considered by Cabinet next week.
The plans would see investment in two new state-of-the-art vehicles, which offer improved facilities that can support the delivery of a wider range of services.
The plans would see investment in two new state-of-the-art vehicles, which offer the same services and facilities as static Libraries.
The proposal would see the new mobile vehicles stopping for longer at key locations and would ensure that the majority of residents can access the Council Library service within a two-mile radius of their home.
County Borough Councillor Joy Rosser, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, with responsibility for Libraries, said: “This proposal is about enhancing our mobile library services, to ensure that they offer the same services that residents can access in a normal Library building.
“As part of the plan, the route plan for these next state-of-the-art vehicles has been reassessed, to ensure we can deliver longer stops at strategic locations.
Many of the current stops offered by the service, receive little or no take-up, and because of the number currently offered, do not allow users to do much else other than collect or return books.
“Many of the current stops offered by the service, receive little or no take-up, and because of the number currently offered, do not allow users to do much else other collect or return books.
“The way people use Libraries and interact with Library services is changing. Static Libraries in Rhondda Cynon Taf have been transformed in recent years to better meet customers’ needs and make the best possible use of public money.
“Visitor numbers are now improving and customers can access a wider range of services and support at Libraries, particularly those co-located with other Council services and we want to achieve this same success with our mobile provision.
“If agreed, this plan would see the purchase of two new mobile Libraries, replacing the current three vehicles, which would provide facilities such as Wi-Fi and internet access.
“These new bespoke vehicles would include canopies and awnings to provide greater customer interaction space. The number of stops would be reduced to 48 long stops of two and a half hours each, every three weeks, focused on communities where there are no fixed location Libraries.
“We appreciate that some residents, may be concerned to lose their short mobile library stop, close to their home or street in some circumstances, and to support any potential decision on these changes, an eight-week consultation would be initiated to discuss the proposal and consider residents’ views on these proposed changes.”
At present, the three mobile Library vehicles are at the end of their operational life, creating the opportunity for the Council’s Library Service to challenge the delivery of its mobile service across the County Borough, thus improving the service for all residents while at the same time ensuring it offers an enhanced range of services.
The new mobile library vehicles would also act as outreach hubs that can facilitate the delivery of advice and guidance to customers by other Council services and partner agencies on a rota basis, such as One4All customer service staff; the Council’s Consultation team and third sector organisations.