Thieves force mobile libraries off the road
LIBRARY vans were forced off the road after diesel thieves raided their depot for the third time.
About £1,500 of fuel has been drained out of the vans parked at the council depot in Main Road, Skirlaugh.
In the latest raid, intruders drove across a field next to the site, climbed the fence and siphoned fuel from several vans.
It left one of the council's large travelling libraries and two smaller library vans unable to start their rounds.
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Mobile libraries manager Katherine Chadwick said: "It disrupts the service and means we don't get the vans out until lunchtime.
"Often, they leave the tanks totally empty and we have to get a delivery from Annie Reed Road in Beverley.
"Sometimes, they ruin the fuel caps and we don't have spare capacity.
"We can't just send a dust cart out there and throw the books out of the back."
Rural communities rely on the service provided by East Riding Council, which operates five travelling libraries.
They are huge vehicles that remain in a village for the whole day and provide services such as internet and e-mail access as well as being linked to the main library management system.
The smaller library vans do not have as many facilities but are able to tour several villages in a day and can be parked more easily.
Retired policeman Bill Buckle, 63, of York Road, Wetwang, said: "The people committing these crimes don't think about what they're doing.
"Stealing diesel out of a public service vehicle could stop the service.
"The library van has been coming to this village for as long as I can remember. It's absolutely vital for people in the village who haven't got their own means of transport."