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Cornwall could lose mobile library service

By WBJLock  |  Posted: February 12, 2014

Local Cllr Mark Kaczmarek with angry residents who fear that the mobile library service in Frogpool and local areas will be axed.

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CORNWALL could lose its mobile library service under plans to trim £1.3 million from the council’s expenditure.

A Cornwall Council committee agreed to push forward with proposals to replace the mobile library and mobile one-stop shops with “community-led initiatives”.

A consultation is asking for views on how the service could be provided in a different way.

The mobile library visits rural communities in and around Redruth, Helston, Bodmin and St Austell, with users saying it brings the joy of reading to people who struggle to get to libraries.

Mark Kaczmarek, councillor for Carharrack and St Day, said 44 people used the service in the villages every fortnight, borrowing 120 books.

“The mobile library service is vital for people who cannot drive to the larger, central libraries. “Some people who use it say this is a lifeline for them, their only way to experience the joy of reading,” he said.

Sylvia Newman, of St Day, said the result of the consultation could spell disaster for Cornwall’s rural communities.

She said: “I’m in my late seventies and recovered recently from an eye operation.

“It’s a great help to me that I can obtain large-print books in the village, thanks to this service.

“To lose this service would be another nail in the coffin for all the villages in our area.”

Greg and Yvonne Foxwell, from Frogpool, also use the service fortnightly.

Mr Foxwell said: Mr Foxwell said: “My wife and I make use of the local library van on its fortnightly visit to Frogpool. “The service is excellent and is used by around two dozen people.

“It also provides the very valuable opportunity for people to socialise.

“It really adds to the village community and fills the void that arose once the village shop closed.”

Adam Paynter, the council’s Cabinet member for partnerships said: “We recognise that people in our rural communities who access the mobile services value those services and we’re open-minded about how they could be delivered in the future.

“I want to consult with fellow members, staff, partners and communities as we look at all the options available to us, including the possibility of introducing community-based services.”

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  • Anyone  |  February 12 2014, 7:44PM

    Trust Councillor Kaczmarek to grandstand once again, the mobile library service has not yet been cut, and is out for consultation to see how the service could be provided in the future. He, like all of us, has to remember, that there is finite resources available to Cornwall Council, he has seen the budget figures, there has to be a change in how all services are provided, and there will unfortunately be some services that will have to be cut. There are other ways to obtain and read books these days, and the service is used by a very few people in Cornwall. Perhaps, instead of winging grandstanding about it, Councillor Kaczmarek should be working with his community to try and find an alternative.

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  • willythefish  |  February 12 2014, 5:29PM

    I bought a Kindle a year or so ago and I find it useful not least because you can adjust the 'print' size on the screen There's also a lot of free books available - pretty much anything that's over 70 years old. So if you want all of Dickens or Conan Doyle or Joseph Conrad (and loads of others) all you need is an internet connection and a basic Kindle which costs £59.00 on Amazon. And if you are reading this at home you almost certainly *have* the technology. It's worth a try.

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