Library bus to stop visiting some rural areas

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MOBILE libraries will stop visiting some villages as part of a £300,000 money-saving ploy.

For years the library bus has stopped once a month to allow people to borrow books and use resources.

But this will stop in several areas, including Catherington, Chalton, Denmead, Hambledon, Titchfield, Lower Swanwick, Knowle, Wickham, Swanmore and Soberton.

The services will stop from January.

As reported, the Family Library Link service, which visits 36 nurseries and children’s centres in Gosport, Portchester and Havant, will stop in May 2016 to save cash.
However, following a consultation and public pressure to keep services, the mobile library will continue to stop in Rowlands Castle, Cowplain, Ditcham and Catisfield.

Officials at Hampshire County Council said villagers can go to their nearest library, access the digital library, or use the ‘good neighbour’ scheme where a friend or relative can exchange books on someone’s behalf.

Councillor Keith Chapman, who oversees libraries, said: ‘The mobile library service is an important part of our library offer.

‘However, due to declining use by Hampshire residents we are having to look closely at the affordability of the service – more than half of the current 345 stops are under-used and almost a quarter have fewer than five customers per visit.’