Thursday, 4 February 2010
Leicester book buses
Well here are a pair of book buses! Today I went to see some very nice people from Leicester city libraries children's team, who manage the Leicester book buses. I managed to look over the vehicles while they were back in the depot for lunch. The under-fives BookBus tours settings in the city with a specific driver-library assistant and a children's team member, telling stories and issuing books. The children's BookBus focuses on area's of the city where the need to improve literacy is greatest. this means that although the timetable is fixed, it changes from time to time, when it has done its job in one area, most of their clients also going to a static library, and there is more need or no provision in another.
During the morning it does promotional visits to schools in those areas, to tell stories and talk about library membership. It rests in early afternoon to come out again between 3pm and 7pm to stop in the streets so that children can use it. They both stock mainly fiction, with just a little non fiction. It also attends community festivals and council events. The service has been continuous for the past 30 years, so as far as I can tell, it is the oldest continuous service in Britain. They have worn out three lots of vehicles in that time. Tell me, anyone, if their service has been going for longer!