Essex County Council Mobile Library Vehicles

The concept of a mobile library which transforms into a youth vehicle at night and an exhibition vehicle when required was proposed by Essex County Council in order to utilise their vehicles and make them more cost effective.

Instead of having a mobile library sat around not being utilised at night, the vehicle would go back to base, have all the shelves, complete with books, removed via the electrical lift and fold down desks and folding chairs would be deployed to transform it into a youth vehicle with desks, laptops, screen, internet and wifi and out it would go. Another requirement was that it would be energy efficient and also self sufficient, so we fitted solar panels on the roof, which linked to an inverter charger and charged up two large banks of batteries to provide mains power. There is also the facility to charge back at base at night and the vehicle charges the batteries as it goes along.

On board the mobile library is a bathroom with toilet and extractor, a kitchen area with fridge and microwave, a laptop cupboard with charging station, hot and cold running water, literature holders, pinboard display panels which also use Velcro, childsafe barriers, diesel fired heater systems and blowers which run from the batteries, 24 volt lift, double air powered doors, third passenger seat which slots into rails on the floor, and a wind out awning for outdoor exhibitions.

On their first outing the two vehicles won an award for State of the Art Vehicle at the mobile libraries conference.