ANGUSalive introduce Isla & Glen, their new Mobile Libraries!

Rural readers in Angus have today celebrated the opening of a new chapter for their library service with the launch of ANGUSalive’s two new mobile library vans.

“Isla” and “Glen”, and their striking modern look, were unveiled at a special celebration at Peel Farm, Lintrathen.  Along with invited guests, customers had the opportunity to see first-hand these amazing multi-functional vehicles before they start their working life in Angus on Monday 24th June.

ANGUSalive, the culture, sport and leisure charitable trust for Angus, secured the future of the mobile library service through a successful bid to Angus LEADER European Rural Development Programme.  With match funding from Angus Council, ANGUSalive's Mobile Library Community Hubs were able to take shape.

Brand new IT equipment offers enhancements to the traditional library services of book-borrowing and research while also providing a point of contact for ACCESS services.  Adding to the new services is a community-based health and wellbeing initiative that will further ANGUSalive’s mission to change lives by inspiring healthy, active and creative lifestyle choices.

Lesley Matthews, Rural & Home Delivery Services Officer, has been buzzing with excitement at the vans’ long-awaited arrival.  “For many people our Mobile Library service is a lifeline, a vital part of the communities in which it serves. This investment will allow us to move forward with our commitment to deliver services to rural communities, many of whom have to cope with social isolation and service inequalities.”

Dougie Pond, Chair of Angus LEADER Local Action Group, welcomed the launch of the new Mobile Library Community Hub vans. ”Connectivity is a key challenge for many rural communities in so many ways. We see this new approach to library vans as a great chance to help address these issues locally. Our LEADER grant of £134K, awarded to support this, will help to make a positive impact across rural Angus.”   

New equipment will allow internet connectivity at the majority of scheduled stops, something that hasn't been available before.  Online information gathering will be more efficient, library members can see their information in 'real time’, and the entire library catalogue will be available to browse.  The potential to hold IT taster sessions, such as iPad for beginners, on the vans is an exciting prospect being developed.    

The two new library vehicles, being slightly smaller than their predecessors, will make regular, scheduled visits to remote areas of the Angus Glens which have not had a library service in recent times.  This will include Isla Primary School & Nursery, where the ANGUSalive Libraries team are making plans to trial Bookbug sessions during school holidays.  Sylvia Main, ANGUSalive Children and Families Development Officer, commented, “We are committed to supporting children's emotional and intellectual development needs, no matter where they are growing up in Angus. Families in rural locations can often find it difficult due to their locality to enjoy the same opportunities and resources as those who live in towns.”

Mobile Library customers will also be able to borrow books which support the management of long term health conditions, while other resources will include the library’s acclaimed Dementia Memory boxes.  In addition, Health Care partners have been invited to use the mobile library van service to offer information sessions to the public.

Lesley McKenzie a regular user of the service commented 'It can be difficult sometimes knowing where to go for the help you need. Having the opportunity to talk to a health care professional on a one to one basis was invaluable. Additionally it was at a stop near my home, with having mobility issues I was so thankful”.

To meet Isla & Glen and check out for yourself all the services they have to offer, view their new timetable online via ANGUSalive’s website. www.angusalive.scot.