Consultation on the future of mobile libraries

Norfolk County Council has launched a consultation about changes to the rural mobile library service, as part of initial proposals to save £13 million.

The Council, like all organisations, continues to face higher costs and demand for services. The proposals to save £13 million (as part of a £60 million target for next year) were considered by Cabinet on 4 July. One of the proposed savings is to reduce the budget for the mobile library service by £200,000, this is nearly half of the existing budget of £422,000.

The six mobile libraries operated by Norfolk County Council stop outside a variety of places within local communities, ranging from playgroups, schools, care homes, and traveller sites – as well as locations where there is high footfall such as parish halls, pubs, and supermarkets. There are currently 1,304 stops and time spent at each stop ranges from 10 minutes to an hour.

To achieve the savings, the council will have to find different ways to run the mobile library service, and potentially reduce the number of routes.

The Council is asking for views to find out how people use the mobile libraries, how much they value the service and what elements of the service could change.

The findings will help shape the future delivery of the mobile library service, what should be considered when potentially reducing the number of routes, and how the council could deliver a more modern and efficient mobile library service that is fit for the future.

The consultation opened on 22 July and runs until 14 September.

The results of the public consultation will be presented to the County Council’s cabinet in November 2022, and final decisions on the council’s budget will be made in February 2023.

You can take part in the consultation here.

(Source: NCC)