DERBYSHIRE: Mobile library services under threat

NDET 2-12-13 RKH 13 Derbyshire county council Library Bus.
NDET 2-12-13 RKH 13 Derbyshire county council Library Bus.

Derbyshire’s mobile library service – which last year loaned 719,000 titles – could be scrapped under council cost-saving measures.

The £720,000 service – which accounts for 17 per cent of all library issues – is under threat as part of Derbyshire County Council’s bid to save £157 million in five years.

Following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the public are invited to have their say on proposals which could include running a reduced service or scrapping it altogether.

Cabinet Member for health and communities, Councillor Dave Allen said: “We are facing extraordinary and unprecedented budget pressures with cuts of £157m over five years so it is inevitable that many of our services, including libraries, will be subject to review.

“Sadly we have no alternative but to review services − these are savings the council has to make and if we don’t face these challenges now we will be storing up significant problems for the future.”

The service is primarily used by older people, schools, nurseries, and housebound customers. It includes ten vehicles – two of which were overhauled in April – and employs 26 people. A public consultation on the proposals will start in January.

David Duttywood Woodward said: “The internet has so much more to offer than a small mobile library in terms of information. I think axing them is probably a smart move.”

Laura Bown said: “My daughter’s preschool use the mobile library. It would be a real shame if it closed, all the children love it.”

Chris Spencer said: “It’s either six salaries or tens of thousands of people without a service.”

Dave Milner added: “There are other services that need more resources like care for the elderly.”