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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mobile library cuts to hit elderly and rural dwellers (UK)

Nearly a third of local authorities have reduced or cancelled their mobile library service in the last year, according to statistics obtained by The Daily Telegraph. The cuts are having a disproportionate effect on the elderly and people in remote communities, who rely on the library vans for their reading material. Prominent writers have condemned the cutbacks, with Joanne Harris, author of novels including Chocolat and Blue Eyed Boy, describing reduced access to books as a "dangerous thing". She said that mobile libraries play an essential role in many communities, and their loss will hit people least likely to embrace alternatives ways of reading, such as via ebooks. According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), 28 per cent of the 174 library authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have reduced the number of mobile library vehicles that they operate over the last year

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