THE New Year sees Devon County Council launch its new-look mobile library service.

From today the council’s revamped fleet of vans will be hitting the road to take the library service to communities across the county.

Following public consultation last year, the council agreed to set new criteria for their mobile library service focussing on communities that do not have permanent libraries nearby.

The new service will see access to mobile libraries in rural communities increased by almost 300 hours a year.

Library vans will be stopping for longer in central locations, linked where possible to existing facilities or events like market days, coffee mornings, luncheon clubs or with school pick-up times.

The new routes also include the eagerly awaited Saturday stops for nine communities, which mean some workers and school children will be able to use the service for the first time.

Cllr Stuart Barker, Cabinet Member responsible for Devon's Library Service, said: "Mobile library users and town and parish councils told us that they would like longer stopping times to give people more chance to browse.

“They would like a wider range of stock on our vehicles, and some would like an opportunity for us to extend the range of services, to perhaps include service information from other agencies.

"I am very pleased to be able to deliver on these requests and present a new mobile library service that will be more accessible at times those communities want it.

"I encourage both existing and new users to go to their new mobile library when it visits their community to find out what’s on offer and see the excellent changes we have made.”

Timetables for the new service can be seen at

Mobile Library drivers will also be distributing copies of the new timetables on their routes.