This blog was contributed by Alan Wylie on behalf of Voices for the Library
In rural areas, the local library, along with the village hall, pub and shop, is the focal point of community life. It’s a safe, trusted place for meeting friends and neighbours, a place for learning, information and leisure and sometimes just a place to keep warm.
If a community is unfortunate enough not to have a static library, then mobile/housebound services fill the gap, helping those that are most isolated.
Let’s look at the data:
- 23% of the rural population are over retirement age, compared to 18% in urban areas, and that proportion is expected to rise
- In 2010/11, 13% of pensioners in rural areas were living in households with income below the poverty threshold after housing costs