A New Mobile Community Hub Service

I have been sent the information below:

“Since the review in 2018 of the Mobile Library Service we have been moving towards introducing a new Mobile Community Hub Service.

With the introduction of the new fleet of vehicles in early 2020 we are aiming to introduce this new service from February 2020.

We are discussing with all customers who currently use our Library service to let them know how the changes affect them.”

The full briefing I received is set out below:

With the introduction of 7 new mobile vehicles into the mobile library in February 2020, these vehicles will launch as a Mobile Community Hub Service.
The vehicles have been designed to undertake specific duties, there will be 4 which are designed as Community Hubs, 2 which are Story Bus Vehicles aimed at the 0 – 5’s and 1 Residential Mobile which is a Mobile Library.

The Current Mobile Library Service will cease to run from the 31st of January.
Work has been done to minimise the number of customers displaced from the existing service. All customers will be contacted to advise of the changes and to discuss alternative ways to access the library service.
The new service will begin to be provided on the 17th of February 2020.
Communication will be sent to all ward councillors advising of the changes and how this will affect their wards.
All current customers will be contacted advising them of their individual changes and alternative ways of accessing the service.
Following the finalisation of the new routes an advertising campaign will follow for each stop in order to maximise the usage.
The Story Bus will be launched on the 29th and 30th January by an event attended by Nick Sharratt the Children’s illustrator who has allowed us to use his designs for the outside of the vehicles.
All Children’s centres across Leeds will be contacted to start arranging the termly visits.
A date will be set for the Mobile Hub launch event and communicated out as far as possible.
Mobile Community Hub
With the introduction of 7 new mobile vehicles to the service in 2020, 4 of these will be used as Mobile Community Hubs.
The aims of the new Community Hub Service are
• Reaching priority communities through the use of pop up mobile and on-line provision
• To target those areas most in need – most deprived wards, Priority neighbourhoods, those without a community hub
• To have the capacity to be deployed flexibly to attend specific activities and respond to significant events such as Floods or ASB,
• Taking account of an individual`s or family wider needs at the first point of contact, providing a seamless service
• Ensuring that we are able to provide targeted support to those most in need.
• To tackle poverty and reduce inequalities
The mobile community hubs will provide a welcoming helpful environment building relationships between the local communities and the council. The staff team, will have a rich knowledge of council services and an understanding of how to help people into work. The staff team all currently work in a Community Hub.

Mobile Residential Library Service
The aims of the Mobile Residential Service is to provide Library services to those customers that are unable to access static libraries both in residential settings and within the wider Community.
• To continue the service to residential settings for customers that are unable to visit static libraries.
• To continue the service to the busiest mobile community library service to prevent current customers being displaced by the move to Mobile Community Hubs and Story Buses.
The Mobile Residential Library will provide a welcoming helpful environment where customers can access library services and also get advice on council services. The staff team, who will have a rich knowledge and understanding of literature, will be skilled and able to recommend books. They will also be able to advise on simple Council enquiries and signpost for more complicated issues.
Story Bus
2 new Story Buses will have a specific focus on babies and children aged 0-5 years.
Research indicates that sharing books from birth not only improves speech and language development and improves educational attainment but also promotes secure attachment, improves the Home Learning Environment, reduces socio-emotional difficulties and health equalities
We have recently relaunched and rebranded our activity for babies and pre school children. The name of the programme, Ready Steady Readers is chosen to focus on the outcome that we want to achieve – that all our children in Leeds are readers.
The introduction of a Story Bus service will be an important development in this programme.
The aims of the new Story Bus are to
• To foster a love of books and reading in early years
• To encourage families to share books and reading activities together
• To promote regular library use in the target areas
• To support the development of Language, communication and Literacy
• To provide access to an early years cultural programme of theatre, authors storytellers illustrators
• Increase in percentage of children who are active library members in target areas
The new story buses will provide a termly programme of visits across the city with a focus on the key priority areas. The schedule of visits will be
• Community Stops in priority areas
• Children’s centres – each children’s centre to have a half termly visit
• Pop Up – during main school holiday periods, the Story Buses will support community events, eg Breeze Festivals. During term time, there will also be the opportunity through flexible programming for special visits to schools and other settings as part of key promotions eg World Book Day.”

If you would like a full list of the changes please email me at barry.anderson@leeds.gov.uk