Era of mobile libraries to end

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THE era of mobile libraries is set to end.

Council leaders are set to agree at a meeting on April 18 that mobile library services in Hampshire end in June.

The Hampshire County Council service will be replaced by a ‘home library service’, delivered by volunteers, as well as free online learning sessions for communities that are losing their mobile library stop.

It follows a consultation by the authority, which needs to cut £1.7m from its library budget by 2020.

Mobile library locations include Clanfield, Denmead, Hambledon, Finchdean, Cowplain, Rowlands Castle, Catisfield, Whiteley and Wickham.

Meanwhile, a report says no decisions will be taken on the future of ‘Tier 3’ libraries until the end of 2017.

These are smaller libraries currently managed by the county council, but one proposal is some of these be managed by the community.

These libraries include Bishops Waltham, Bridgemary, Elson, Emsworth, Horndean, Lee-on-the-Solent and Leigh Park.

The report says: ‘If changes are proposed to any Tier 3 library there will be separate consultations with the relevant local communities and organisations.’