New tech system gives Thornbury library longer opening hours

September 29 2017

A NEW system of using libraries that offers extended opening hours will come into effect in Thornbury on October 2.

A NEW system of using libraries that offers extended opening hours will come into effect in Thornbury on October 2.

The library is one of eight in South Gloucestershire where technology has been installed so registered users can access services when the premises are unstaffed.

Upgraded membership cards will be issued to people who can browse, borrow and renew books and other materials or use the library for studying.

The system, called Open Access, was trialled at Bradley Stoke library before being rolled out to other libraries as part of a series of changes to the service.

South Gloucestershire Council had to save £500,000 within the library service and carried out a review to see how to achieve those cuts.

It led to the withdrawal of the mobile library and other changes, such as establishing community libraries in some areas and turning Chipping Sodbury library into a volunteer-run facility, with the council continuing to fund the costs of the service and the training of the volunteers.

Staffed hours were also cut - the primary way of achieving the savings.

But Heather Goddard, the council’s Cabinet member for communities, said: “I am delighted that despite continued budgetary pressure on the council we have, working closely with the community, been able to develop a solution that maintains peoples’ access to books and other resources, while making a contribution to the savings that have had to be made.

“New technology will work alongside our excellent library staff so that as a community we can make the best use of these facilities throughout the week and even more residents can visit and take advantage of them.”

Open Access will allow users to visit libraries from 7.30am-8.30pm seven days a week, once they have undergone an induction to the system and accepted the terms and conditions linked to it. 

They can book a session either online at www.southglos.gov.uk/OpenAccess or by visiting their local library.