Monday, 8 February 2016

Library van dies, library book drop begins

The nearest library to our village is 5 miles away, so Burton was visited weekly on a Monday for an hour by a mobile library van which parked in the memorial hall car park. It was very well-used, by many people from older people to mums with small kids, for all of whom it saved the hassle, time and expense of a trip on the bus or by car into the nearest library to borrow or order books.

Late last year the library van developed a fault which meant it was withdrawn from service - as a replacement would cost c.£100,000, according to county council, and as they are cutting back due to reduced grants etc. from govt., we faced having no library presence in the village.

For many years on the first Monday of the month a group of volunteers have been running a library coffee morning at the same time as the van visited, and this raised funds to help with the village hall's upkeep. Loss of library van put the coffee morning at risk, so the volunteers got together and decided to approach the county council to ask if there could be a book drop at the hall instead of the library van. 

After several meetings with the county library service to hash out the details there is now a book drop service to replace the library van. A large folding bookcase is stored in the village hall into which the library service will drop off 200 books every so often and take the old batch away, and the volunteers run this village library on the first and third Mondays each month, with the option to increase to every Monday if demand justifies it.

It's still a very new service, but is worth trying to keep access to books going within the village. What would be even better would be if the county council could be persuaded to allow the village hall to be a library link, which would require the use of a computer terminal to access the online services which are only available in libraries and library links, e.g. reference and genealogy resources. But at least for now the books are accessible easily still.