DISCUSSIONS with Fowey residents on the future of the town’s library are to continue as Cornwall Council and local groups explore sustainable and long-term options for the service.
Like all local authorities throughout the UK, the council has had some tough decisions to make when faced with substantial cuts in funding from central Government.
Rather than close libraries, however, the council has worked with town and parish councils and community groups throughout Cornwall to transfer ownership of these much-loved services to local communities.
At 5pm on March 29 Fowey Library will close in its current form and a mobile service will be introduced as an interim solution while options are developed with the community.
Cornwall Council is launching a public engagement so all Fowey residents can have a say on securing a sustainable, long term library provision for the town.
There will be a number of public drop-in sessions across the town at varying times of days with dates and locations to be announced.
Cornwall Council officers will host the sessions and everyone is invited.
Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are committed to working with the local community to provide an enhanced service in Fowey in a location which meets the needs of the town and ensures access to books for all residents.
“We would like to hear from everyone in the community about what they would like to see. At our drop-in sessions we will present the options that are available and there will also be the opportunity for residents to suggest other options.
“Our aim has always been to work with partners and communities to create sustainable services aligned to local needs so all local residents can continue enjoying their library for many years to come. We would like to thank Fowey Town Council for their ongoing support on this.”
The temporary mobile library service will be in Fowey every Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm at a location to be announced shortly.
A new mobile vehicle has been ordered and it will provide free Wi-Fi access to the internet via a router and signal booster and be equipped with a Cornwall Council public laptop and space for a second person to use their own equipment.
The interim mobile stop will maintain access to library services for the town, with around 2,500 adult and children’s books along with talking books and a range of large print books for those with audio or visual impairment. Other items such as DVDs and music CDs can be ordered on line for free and be collected from the mobile library.
Customers can also use the ‘click and collect’ service to reserve books online for free for collection from the mobile library. Mobile library staff can answer questions, provide a referral service and show customers how to access library and council services online.