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.”