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Read all about it - mobile library provides lifeline 21 December 2007

The Department of Education’s mobile library service has been praised by its members for being ‘more than just a library’.

The mobile library has been delivering books to locations around the Island for over 30 years. These include Andreas, Greeba, Kirk Michael, Ballasalla, Santon, Port St Mary and many more.

Members say that the mobile library is an extremely valuable service providing not only convenience but also a warm and friendly reception, creating its own community at each stop.

Sandra Henderson, Librarian in charge said:

Mobile library 2
Mobile library 2

‘The mobile library is an invaluable service to the community. It is an attempt to reach out to people who, for whatever reason, may have difficulty getting to their nearest borough or commissioners’ library. ‘We work hard to create a friendly and comfortable environment and a more personalised service. We know our customers well and often hand select books for them. We can also suggest books that they might like if they are struggling to choose.’

The mobile library has 10 routes in total, each visiting different parts of the Island, allowing them to do each route once every two weeks. Pam Wilson lives in Ballamillagyn and looks forward to her visits.

‘I love coming to the mobile library because it’s a much more enjoyable experience than going to a normal library. The staff are very friendly and they always find the books I want. It’s a much more personalised experience and with the convenience of coming straight to my front door, good heavens, what more could I want?’

The staff also enjoy seeing the customers. Fred Moffatt, driver, said:

‘We have some great characters on our run. They really make me laugh.'
Contrary to popular belief, the mobile library isn’t just a service for the elderly. There are a variety of children’s books on board.
Sandra explains:The mobile library out and about in the snow this winter
‘Because of the time of day we travel, we tend to attract those who don’t work such as the retired, as well as attracting those with difficulties in travelling and moving about. However, sometimes our runs coincide with children finishing school, enabling them to stop off on their way home which is more convenient for busy parents.’

The mobile library also offers a housebound service in Douglas and Ramsey on a monthly basis.

Sandra explains:

‘This service is for those who are completely housebound. The members let us know what they like and we choose books for them and deliver them to their houses. It’s a bit like buying Christmas presents really, you never know if you’re going to get it right, although, it is very rewarding when your choice brings a smile to their face.’

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