The Isle of Wight’s domestic island TV channel has had a surprise hit with its new show ‘Pimp My Mobile Library’. In the programme various librarians from the island compete to see who can soup up their mobile library and the vans then speed around a village circuit dispensing Catherine Cookson novels to local pensioners.
With many rural villages around the island populated by elderly people who find it difficult to get to a conventional library, the local council’s fleet of mobile libraries have been a welcome sight down the years. ‘On the second Monday of every month, I’d always be waiting for it as it chugged up the lane…’ said grandmother of three Mary Goodall. ‘But I have to say, while my latest Jilly Cooper might have been pretty steamy, the vehicle it came in was decidedly dull. All that’s changed thanks to ‘Pimp My Mobile Library’.
With go-faster flames around the expanded wheel arches and flourescent lights under the jacked-up chassis, the vans now cruise the island’s hot spots at night, honking loudly at passing old ladies and burning rubber as the drivers attempt handbrake turns around the war memorial. ‘Dem rides is like well sick bro’ said librarian Edith Whiteside. ‘If any hoe touch my shaggin wagon, I put a cap in their ass, innit.’
With the advent of the internet, and multi-channel TVs, the island’s library service had feared that their future might be in jeopardy. ‘We had to modernise and diversify if we were going to survive’ said head librarian Marjorie Harrison. However an enquiry is now under way as to whether it is appropriate for a mobile library that normally lends hardback romantic fiction and Mills and Boon, should also sell crack cocaine, ecstasy and low-grade heroin.’