Consultation period – 19 September – 6 November
I would like to invite you to help us make decisions on the future of the mobile library service.
At Essex County Council, we know how much people value their mobile libraries. But we also know that in recent years, fewer and fewer people have been taking advantage of them.
Combined with other factors, such as vehicles which are coming to the end of their working lives, we have reached a point where the right thing to do is look again at how we provide these services.
This is why we are consulting you about how we create a new library service which is a better fit with people’s lives across Essex.
We want a service which is available at a place and time which suits users; a service which is flexible enough to help volunteers set up a community library in a village hall, pub, sports club or shop. We want a service where volunteers deliver books directly to the door, and can stop to chat with the residents so that we contribute to ending social isolation. These services already work well in villages across Essex and we want to extend that provision. We want a service which is able to respond to different local needs and settings and to have books available to more people more of the time.
We don’t want a service which wastes money by having mobile library buses parked in locations at times when no one visits, which is unfortunately what happens on some occasions now.
Most of all, we want everyone in Essex to get involved, have their say on our ideas and share their own.
You can find more information about our proposals and complete the survey at www.librariesconsultation.essex.gov.uk
Separate surveys are also available online for children and young people under 16 and in EasyRead. If they would rather complete the survey on paper, they can pick up a copy of the consultation pack at any library or mobile library and return it using the business reply envelope in the pack (no stamp needed).
For help to complete the survey, or if someone would like it in large print or would like a printed copy of the children’s or EasyRead versions, please call 0345 603 7628.
The deadline for replies is 6 November 2017.
All the responses from the consultation will be analysed and a formal report produced. This will be published on the consultation website and available on request for those without internet access. The analysis will be used to help us decide what changes will be implemented.