County unveils ‘Supermobile’ library timetable

Supermobile Library
Supermobile Library

A ‘SUPERMOBILE’ library providing a range of advanced services to remote communities in North Yorkshire will begin operating a new schedule later this month.

From October 24, North Yorkshire County Council’s supermobile will call at 22 locations on a rolling fortnightly timetable.

Unlike the conventional mobile libraries, which were withdrawn last month, the supermobile offers a superior service, carrying around 3,000 items of stock – including books, DVDs, videos, and audio books – and offering internet access via satellite.

The supermobile will remain at each location for two hours, providing a much longer opportunity for users to take advantage of the service.

“We know, of course, that the withdrawal of the mobile libraries created concerns for people who valued their service and who live in the more remote parts of the county,” said Coun Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for North Yorkshire.

“What we are trying to do here is to offer a much improved replacement. While the supermobile will not be able to replicate the routes of all the mobiles entirely, we have drawn up a schedule which attempts to ensure that people living furthest away from our library network will have the opportunity to borrow books and audio and video items from a much larger range of stock, with the added benefit of internet access.”

He added: “By designing a schedule based on two-hourly stops, we hope that the supermobile might in time become a focal point for other community services, much in the way that static building-based libraries are used by a wide range of organisations such as citizens’ advice.

“We are already working actively with partners to think about using these visits as focal points to involve other agencies and community activity.”

In addition to the introduction of the new supermobile schedule, the Home Library Service has been extended to accommodate the needs of users of the former mobile library service, and the service is also in discussion with a number of communities with plans to set up book collections in village halls, etc.

The supermobile schedule will be from Week One (first week of operation October 24) Monday afternoon at Sherburn from 2pm–4pm and then fortnightly.