Library gets ready for swipe-card future

August 25 2017

DOWNEND Library is shut until September 9 for the installation of swipe-card technology.

DOWNEND Library is shut until September 9 for the installation of swipe-card technology.

Users are advised to visit Staple Hill or Emersons Green Library. They have already been through their temporary closures for the refitting, which involves extra computer and security equipment.

It’s all in preparation for a reduction in staffed opening hours at every South Gloucestershire library in the autumn. The council is introducing Open Access in nine libraries,  including the three in our area, meaning that registered users can get into unstaffed libraries during extended hours to browse, borrow and renew books and other resources, or to use the space for study.

The three local libraries will each be staffed for 26 hours a week. One or other of them should be staffed from Monday to Saturday. Look out for details in next month's Downend Voice.

Cabinet Councillor Heather Goddard said: “We are very pleased to be able to bring the benefits of extra opening during unstaffed hours in our libraries. We anticipate many people will be able to use the library where they couldn’t in the past because of work or other commitments and it is great to get extra use out of these important buildings when they would otherwise be closed.

“There has been a little disruption during the work to install the new equipment, but we have designed the programme to ensure that if your library is closed for a few days, you will be able to access another library relatively close by. Users are also able to make reservations and renew books online and you certainly won’t get a fine if your book is due back while the library is closed.”

Thousands of people signed petitions last year urging the council not to make cuts to library services. The  authority said it had to make the savings but was keeping library buildings open.