Decline puts brakes on library bus service

PEOPLE with a disability who rely on the Orange City Library community bus service will have to find another mode of transport after library staff deemed the service no longer viable.

The service started about 20 years ago and until about two years ago serviced 50 clients.

Library users who could not make their own way to the library or had trouble carrying their books home used the service which picked people up from their front door, took them to the library and brought them home again. 

Library manager Jan Richards said, unfortunately, with only about 15 users left on the service, it was no longer feasible and there was no other option than to close the service. 

She said clients would be offered the home library service instead, which meant a volunteer would take staff-selected books to the clients home. 

“It’s obviously sad but it’s one of those things where we have to make a call,” she said. 

Other service providers such as CareWest have picked up the clients who were once regular users of the library bus service, so most people will still have access to community transport to visit the library, she said. 

The library had used a bus provided by the PCYC, but the vehicle will have to be decommissioned due to its age and it is understood another will not be purchased. 

Volunteers who participate in the home library service generally stay for a cup of tea and a conversation, but with the closure of the bus service more volunteers are required. 

For some clients, the contact with volunteers may be the only human interaction they have all day and Mrs Richards said it was a worthwhile cause to lend time to. 

“Anyone who can spare an hour or two a week would be most welcome,” she said.

The library has 15 clients on the home library service. 

Anyone who would like to volunteer should pick up an information pack from the library.

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