The Isle of Wight Council is improving its library service by introducing two new mobile library vehicles.
They are replacing the existing two vehicles which are several years old and have recently suffered mechanical problems.
The two new Mercedes vans will mean each mobile library will be able to stay longer at the busier scheduled stops that they visit.
The £200,000 investment in the service has been set aside from existing budgets. The graphics on both vehicles have been made by the council’s print and design team, and promote the range of services available in all the council’s libraries.
Both vehicles can hold up to 1,200 books including a mix of novels, non-fiction, large print books, talking books and children’s books with each van holding different individual titles.
Both vehicles will be introduced from Monday 19th August, initially to the existing timetable although over the coming weeks the routes will be reshaped in order to reflect current usage patterns and to attract new customers.
Rob Jones, the council’s library service manager, said:
“The old mobile library vehicles were struggling to meet the modern requirements for the service and needed upgrading.
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“These new vehicles will mean the council can offer an improved mobile library service and offer more choice to customers.
“The vehicles are also far more manoeuvrable than the current vans, which means it is easier and quicker for them to get to destinations and they can stay longer at the more popular stops. It also means we can look at expanding the number of places we visit.”
Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member responsible for the economy, said:
“Many people use the mobile libraries and it is important the service continues to improve to meet modern needs and requirements. The vans give people a real choice because they bring books and other services to their doorstep.
“I welcome the addition of these two new replacement mobile libraries and look forward to seeing them serve the local community.”
In the coming weeks, both new library vans will also have a computer installed, which will allow access to the Internet free of charge, meaning users can access online council services.