AN EIGHT-year-old boy who loves to read is putting on the fight of his life to save a mobile library that has benefitted hundreds of pupils across Havant.
Young Bobby Jervis has sent a strong letter to Hampshire County Council expressing his concerns about the proposed axing of the Family Library Link (FLL) – a bus that visits children in the Havant and Leigh Park area – to save £43,000 a year.
This proposal forms part of a wider plan to cut £600,000 from the library service’s annual budget by reducing mobile library services across the county.
The Trosnant Junior pupil said: ‘I’ve been using it since I was four and it has made a big difference to my life.
‘There are two nice ladies who are in charge and they visit us once a week to give us a storytelling session and then leave us to explore a variety of books for all ages.
‘We can either browse through them, carry them back to school or take them home. I often come away with three or four books a week.
‘The bus introduced me to some of the greatest authors like Roald Dahl. I have learned so much because of it.
‘If it is scrapped, lots of children in this area will be devastated. I would hate to see younger generations losing out because the council doesn’t have enough money.
‘Reading and writing will help them in future life. Most jobs will require those skills. Surely it makes sense to continue to fund it.’
The bus, which was established in 1983 to reach families who would not otherwise go to libraries, visits toddler groups, nurseries and primaries across Leigh Park and Havant.
Under the proposals it is scheduled to be taken out of service in July, but Bobby is appealing to all parents, children and schools to lobby the county to stop this from happening.
Jim Hartley, Bobby’s headteacher at the school in Leigh Park, said: ‘We haven’t got power to get children to the library, but we have got the power to get the library to children. From my experience, the scheme has made a big impact.’
Cllr Margaret Snaith-Tempia, executive member for recreation, said: ‘We will be taking (Bobby’s) thoughts into serious consideration when making any final decisions about the future of the FLL Mobile Library.’
To comment on the proposals email firstname.lastname@example.org before Monday, February 14.