Mobile Libraries soon to be a thing of the past in Hertfordshire

February 9, 2015 10:24 AM

Kareen Hastrick

The Conservative controlled Hertfordshire County Council's 'Inspiring Libraries' strategy is due to be discussed at the Customer Service, Performance and Libraries Panel on Tuesday 10 February.

Recommendations to be passed to Cabinet in order to make 'savings' include:

  • Withdrawing the current mobile library service county-wide and replacing with an expanded Home Service module and other transportation solutions. Hom
    e Service expansion will involve more flexibility on criteria for qualifying for this service currently used by the disabled, the infirm and their carers but will still exclude certain groups who rely on the mobile service.
  • 'Tiering' the 46 libraries into 3 classifications (see Notes). The lowest Tier 3 libraries to be administered in conjunction with local communities and run without paid librarians (7 exceptions highlighted). Tier 3 classification will involve volunteers, the use of 'virtual librarians' and swipe access cards in mos t cases. Reprofiling of stock available through these branches is also due for review.

Kareen Hastrick, who leads for the Liberal Democrats on the Library service, commented: 'These proposals do not take into consideration the value the mobile library visits have for community interaction or the fact that the service is vital especially with the planned rural bus cuts.'