BOOKS mean so much more than just something to read with that last cup of cocoa or under a tree in the sun, they can be a lifeline, especially when chosen from a library van parked in your village.
There cannot be many people unaware of the dismay being caused throughout Devon by Devon County Council’s idea to save money by scrapping its mobile library service.
Coldridge is one of many places that would be affected and the lady who drives that van, she has an hgv licence to drive artics, said that everywhere she goes people are really upset at the prospect of losing the service.
She covers a huge area from Woolacombe almost to Launceston and says that everywhere people are really upset at the prospect of losing the service.
“I have people receiving treatment for cancer who do not want to mingle with too many people, people who do not want to have to travel too far, all sorts of people are affected,” she said.
There is the Devon-wide petition at change.org and more details on the Libraries Unlimited website.
Wherever she goes, she is told the mobile library is a lifeline, a social event, a community hub, especially for villages that have lost either their shop or pub or both.
County Councillor for the area, Margaret Squires popped in to chat to people. She has just become a member of the county Scrutiny Committee which will be meeting on September 28 to discuss the service and then it will go on to Cabinet to make the decision.
Members of the public can speak at Scrutiny but have to give notice of their wish to do so. Members of the public can sit in on the meeting.
Margaret represents 29 parishes, some very rural, many have the mobile library service, are a long way from any town and so this service is especially useful particularly for those studying.
Coldridge Parish Council vice chairman John Smith said the village has no shop, one bus service a week which does not go near a library, with the nearest shops being Winkleigh or Lapford.
The Coldridge service is used by people well into their 90s who no longer drive and by children who enjoy being able to browse among the 2,000 or so books on board.
People can order books on-line for delivery by the mobile service. One person said the driver had hunted “high and low” for a special book for him, eventually finding it.
The librarian said she is passionate about her job, she took it having moved to Devon 12 years ago and wanting to know about where she lived.