New mobile library routes to start in April 2018

Mobile Libraries
Essex Libraries

Essex County Council reviewed the services provided through mobile libraries using a consultation survey, summarised in a previous post.

The Consultation closed on 6 November 2017.  In total, 1,386 responses were recorded from mobile library users and other groups comprising 1,128 individuals, 160 families with children under 11, and 68 organisations.

Changes to the mobile library service and help for communities that want to set up their own libraries have been approved. and a new mobile library timetable will take effect from 3 April 2018.

Essex County Council’s Cabinet agreed the changes on 23 January 2018 after hearing the results of the public consultation on the proposals.  Details available here.


In the consultation, six community groups and organisations expressed a firm interest in hosting a volunteer-run community library. Over 50 other sites were suggested and 124 consultees expressed an interest in helping set up and maintain new community libraries.
Proposed new criteria for running mobile libraries were broadly supported:
percentages for Individuals & families with children under 11 /  {Organisations}

  • 82% / {72%} agreed with removing stops that are not being used
  • 63% / {53%} agreed with merging stops which service the same community
  • 68% / {55%} agreed with increasing the minimum time at each stop to 30 minutes
  • 56% / {44%} agreed with stops being visited on a three-weekly cycle, as opposed to four-weekly.

However, respondents did not agree with a proposal to remove stops that are less than two miles from a library building.   In response, Cabinet reduced the distance limit to 1.5 miles to keep more stops.

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