A unique to Wales “bristling with technology” mobile library fleet is about to take to Carmarthenshire’s roads.
It’s a revolutionary ‘more than books’ approach embracing new technologies that will deliver digital literacy across the county from next month. (April)
The new service will provide digital services directly to community users with access online via the mobile library’s free Wi-Fi, keeping users connected to the greater community and the wider world at large.
County executive board member for regeneration, leisure and library services Cllr Meryl Gravell said: “Following public consultations, new routes have been agreed with the fleet of three new mobiles set to visit at least 38 communities at advertised stops on a weekly basis.
“This will extend the reach of the mobile library service operating as “pop-up libraries” with significantly more services offered at community level across the county.
“It is a revolutionary development. Changing technologies helps us provide many more efficient solutions to meet user requirements as their expectations are constantly changing.
“The mobile libraries will provide doorstep access to computers and life changing opportunities in rural areas with photocopying and printing facilities, a range of services including universal credit, citizen’s advice and even job searching opportunities.
“The current mobile service falls short on delivering key aspects of a modern library service offered at static service points.
“The new fleet will be a flexible, fit-for-purpose and integrated mobile library service helping to address rural deprivation, encourage digital inclusion and address poverty and literacy agendas which are all critical to the wellbeing of our residents as well as a lifeline for residents are elderly or housebound.
“I am proud to say the council is ahead of the field developing an effective, modern, flexible, comprehensive and reliable mobile library service fit for the 21st Century.”
County executive board member for environment services, Cllr Hazel Evans, believed the mobile library service renewal had come at an optimum time for the authority.
She said: “Improved fuel efficiency, lower emissions and reduced operating costs is good news for everyone. Add to this the satisfaction of working on this particular project with Welsh companies, Euro Commercials of Cardiff and Neath Coach Builders, is the icing on the cake and affirms our commitment to supporting the local economy and spending the Welsh pound in Wales.”
Partnership working is seen as key to service delivery; working with community resilience groups such as Workways +, JCP, The Hub and community groups and volunteers. This will extend the reach and improve efficiency of services by providing an effective, modern, flexible, comprehensive and reliable mobile library service fit for the 21st Century.