The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) has commissioned research to examine the value and impact of mobile library services.
The library advisory body is aiming to build a robust evidence base to demonstrate the benefits that mobile libraries bring to communities and the role they play in people’s lives, and to identify the impact of reducing or withdrawing services.
An independent researcher has been appointed to conduct a literature review, an online survey, and interviews with librarians, library staff, mobile library users and key partners, such as schools.
Mobile library users are invited to complete the online survey at scottishlibraries.org/mobile. The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2018.
As part of the study, the researcher will scope the scale and nature of mobile library services, including number, frequency of delivery, usage statistics, user demographics, stock, vehicle specification and cost of provision.
The outputs from the research will be used by SLIC and its members to promote support and funding for mobile library services, using evidence to underline service impact on learning and attainment, health and wellbeing and cultural and leisure experiences.
Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive, SLIC, said:
“Mobile libraries are lifelines for remote and rural communities, particularly among people who may find it difficult to get to their local library building. We know that many communities across Scotland rely on a mobile service. They can improve literacy, support inclusion and tackle loneliness and isolation. Our research project will provide us and our members with a body of research to back this up and demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits. At a time when public libraries continue to face funding cuts, this evidence base will prove vital to safeguard the future of services.”
The research will be concluded by the end of December 2018.