THE school library service could be scrapped by Dorset County Council due to it not being financially sustainable.

The service that provides library resources to schools across the county could be on its way out due to a lack of up take.

A decision was set to be made by Dorset County Council’s Cabinet but it was deferred so further consultation can take place.

A report said that only 26 percent of schools used the service either on a subscription or a pay-as-you use basis and that during the past five years the service had not achieved the corporate income target and had returned a budget deficit.

It went on to say that the level of income and buyback from schools had now reached a point where the service was not financially sustainable in the future.

It had been recommended to the cabinet decommission the service before the decision was deferred.

It was also recommended that a detailed decommissioning plan by the library service be developed that included consultation with representatives from schools about the most appropriate use of physical resources for the long term benefit of the children and young people.

The plan would contain information to alternative school library providers.

A note on the school library service section of the Dorset County Council website says that the future of the service is currently under review and that it will be offered until the end of the summer term, July 2016 only, pending a decision.

A county council spokesperson said it was a valued service but uptake was down a large amount over the last few years and that the decision had been deferred while consultation takes place.

The spokesperson said: “The school library service offers a range of services to help schools manage and provide a school library.

“The service trades directly with schools, whose governors decide how best to provide resources for their school library by buying into the service or buying books for the school.

“Currently only a quarter of schools in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole use the service compared with 60 per cent of schools in 2011 and the service is valued by the schools that use it. The decision about the future of the service has been deferred to give us more time to consult with the schools. The council is considering the viability of the service, with the current financial climate and educational situation.”