New routes for books as council takes library services into deprived areas
On the Road – SNP councillors Ian Dickson and Iain McLaren.
By Glen Douglas
West Dunbartonshire Council’s Mobile Library service is introducing a new route and timetable to make the service more accessible to residents in remote areas and places of high deprivation.
The new service came into effect on Monday, 16 July, and will include additional stops at Castlehill, Brucehill, Haldane, Whitecrook Centre 81, Westcliff, Mountblow Community Centre, Drumry, Faifley Road and Abbeylands Road in Faifley.
This will support social inclusion and opportunity in areas where the council is keen to increase literacy and raise attainment, all of which are critical to the wellbeing of residents.
The new route also includes streets in Old Kilpatrick where residents live some of the furthest distances from a local branch library.
The mobile service will also work with community groups and attend local events such as Gala days to raise awareness and increase the number of residents who could be using the service.
A Council spokesperson said: “The Mobile library van offers a quality service to all residents, but is particularly aimed at those who are elderly and travel long distances. It can carry over 2,000 items for loan and is stocked with a wide range of adult and children’s fiction, non-fiction books, large print books and talking books. The modern van is fitted with disabled access, and customers can request any item held in West Dunbartonshire Libraries free of charge.”
Councillor Ian Dickson, Convener of Corporate Services, said: “We want to reduce inequality in West Dunbartonshire so I’m pleased to see the mobile library service focus on visiting those communities that typically have the fewest opportunities, or the longest distances to travel to a branch. This unique offering means we can cater for residents on their doorstep in places like Gartocharn and Whitecrook that otherwise might miss out.
“I hope residents find the new routes more convenient and it encourages more people to use the service. The vehicle is first-class, and the team who work on it do a great job in providing a genuine alternative to the traditional branch experience. Officers will continue to review engagement levels and update the route every six months to maximize the benefits.”
Councillor Iain McLaren, Vice-Convener of Corporate Services, said: “I welcome this new route and timetable which will see us take the mobile library to the locations that need it most. It fits in well with our changes to the wider library service to ensure we use our resources and team in the best way possible for our residents.”
To book the Mobile Library Service to attend local gala days and visit any community groups please call, 01389 608037 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The service will be attending Faifley Community Gala Day, Skypoint Faifley on Saturday 21st July.
The Council spokesperson added: “Anyone with a West Dunbartonshire library card can use the mobile library to borrow books and audio visual materials. If you are not already a library member but would like to join the library you can do so ‒ just bring along proof of name and address to the mobile library or any branch library.”
To view the new timetable please visit http://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/mobilelibrary