Following extensive consultation, and a review of the responses received from customers, Worcestershire County Council has confirmed changes to Mobile Library Services and Library at Home services.
From February 1 2015 the mobile library service will be delivered by one vehicle which will service 175 villages and Library Service at Home (LSAH) customers, with visits every 4 to 5 weeks.
Cllr Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member for localism and communities said: "We had a really good response from our customers to our consultation and everyone's responses have been carefully considered in the decision making process. It is unfortunate, but in order for us to continue to meet the financial challenges we are faced with, we do have to make changes to both the mobile library service and the library service at home. We can however confirm that by combining a range of delivery options and location stops everyone who currently receives a service will continue to do so, it just might be delivered in a way which is different to the way it is currently provided.
"The Council is committed to ensuring that all LSAH customers will continue to receive a service
and is working with respondents who have stated they would no longer be able to get to the mobile library in its new location due to disability or infirmity. We will continue to review these changes over the next 12 months and make adjustments where necessary".
From February 1 2015 the libraries service will operate one new mobile library vehicle fitted with wi-fi and meeting room space, instead of the three currently operating. This vehicle will service 20 routes with 267 stops taking in a total of 175 villages across the county. The length of time between visits will be increased to every 4 – 5 weeks.
Library Service at Home (LSAH) customers will now have access to library services through a combination of mobile library and volunteer delivery and the Calibre talking book service, by having help to visit a library or help to access on-line books and services. The Libraries Service will ensure that all Library Service at Home customers who want to receive this service can continue to do so.
In addition twenty four new locations identified by customers for community collections will be followed up, some of these will be within 3 miles of a fixed library point. As will the forty volunteers offering help via the consultation.
Customers can also reserve items online and collect them when the mobile visits their area, at a cost of 75p per item.