CONTROVERSIAL proposals to axe Poole’s mobile library service and replace it with community libraries have gone out for public consultation.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Wallisdown residents have already vowed to fight to retain their vital service, they currently enjoy weekly visits from the mobile library.

The van is currently used by 191 residents in areas where there are no branch libraries, as well as providing books to 154 residents living in sheltered housing and residential homes.

The service costs £50,000 a year and the van is reaching the end of its operational life, says Borough of Poole. The council is seeking views on starting community libraries in areas it covers, run by residents and volunteers with a supply of books, training, advice and support from Poole libraries.

A Home Library Service delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service helps 300 readers who cannot get to one of the borough’s 10 libraries or the mobile library. There are plans to expand this to residents of sheltered housing and residential homes.

Cllr Xena Dion, cabinet portfolio holder for libraries, said with government reducing its funding the council had to look again at everything they did.

“The mobile library vehicle would cost around £100,000 to replace, so we are asking library users and the general public for their views on new services that may replace those of the mobile library, and the impact this may have.

“In many areas the community libraries bring a new lease of life to local facilities and help bring people together,” she said.

She emphasised that this was a consultation exercise and that no decisions would be taken lightly or made until results had been analysed.

She said: “We believe the alternative services we plan to offer will improve the reach of public libraries to local communities in Poole.”

• RESIDENTS can take part in the consultation online at or get a form from a library.

These are at Broadstone Library, Saturday, September 27, 10am to 12noon; Rossmore Library, Wednesday, October 1, 10am to 12 noon and Poole Central Library, Saturday, October 4, 3pm to 5pm.

Consultation closes on October 24.