Mobile library service axed

CANBERRA’S mobile library service will be axed after a decline borrowing numbers. books

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury says books borrowed through the mobile library service represent just 0.5 per cent of all borrowing across Canberra libraries.

“Over the past twelve months some changes have already been made to phase-out mobile library sites with fewer than three borrowers,” Mr Rattenbury says.

“This mobile library model is increasingly only used in remote or regional locations across Australia, where other more targeted services are unavailable.”

The home library service was introduced in 1981 and allowed eligible people to order books from the online catalogue, which were then delivered to people’s homes. Most received material selected by trained library staff based on individual profiles, and were delivered by volunteers.

“At the time there was only a book lending service on Kings Avenue and two pilot children’s libraries. Mobile services then evolved to include retirement villages and outer locations for similar reasons,” Mr Rattenbury says.

“Existing community bus services are available through local organisations to transport people from their homes to libraries and other services, and aged care facility buses to transport residents to their local shops or library. This not only gives them the opportunity to borrow books and resources but also to have a social outing.”

Mr Rattenbury says no jobs will be lost through the transitional process, with mobile library staff moving to library branches and other library services. The service is expected to end by July.

For more information on the home library service visit:  http://www.library.act.gov.au/library_services/home_library_service

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