Around 40% of users describe themselves as having mobility difficulties and the majority
of users are between 45 and 84 years old.
MSP Alasdair Allan commented: “The library vans provide a vital outreach service
to communities far away from the brick and mortar libraries, and individuals who
are more socially isolated or who would have difficulty travelling.
“I have been contacted by a number of constituents who were concerned to hear that
the council are not proceeding with the plan to replace the existing vans.
“The council itself acknowledges in a report they are clearly no longer fit for purpose
and I understand this is affecting how much time they can spend in communities.”
The MSP added: “In 2017 everyone should have some form of library access, regardless
of geographical location. The people who rely on this service are some of the most
vulnerable in our communities and I have written to the comhairle to ask them to
clarify its future.”
Cllr Gordon Murray said: “The mobile library service is highly valued by our communities
and this is reflected in the percentage of those who use the service.
“The comhairle needs to acknowledge this by moving swiftly to replace these vans
so as not to disadvantage those with mobility issues from the service.”
Fears for future of mobile library service
25 July 2017
Fears have raised concerns about the future of the mobile library service in the
MSP Alasdair Allan, and SNP council group leader, Gordon Murray, said the comhairle
does not appear to be proceeding with replacing the existing mobile library vans,
despite approving funding for this purpose in March of last year.
The mobile library vans currently serve Lewis, Harris and the Uists. Users are able
to take out a wide range of books as well as other audio and visual content. They
are responsible for delivering 30% of all total loans from Western Isles libraries.