Staffed opening hours at Bradley Stoke Library are to be reduced to 35 hours per week (currently 45.5 hours) from Monday 2nd October as part of cost-saving measures being introduced across the library service by South Gloucestershire Council.
The total number of hours for which the library is open each week will, however, remain unchanged, thanks to the use of ‘Open Access’ technology.
The new system, which was installed at Bradley Stoke in February and at other South Gloucestershire libraries over the summer, allows registered users to use their upgraded membership cards to access services during unstaffed hours. They are able to browse, borrow and renew books and other resources and make use of other facilities such as computers and study spaces.
By reducing staffed opening hours, the council hopes to save £500,000 per annum, although net savings in the first year will be minimal due to the £450,000 cost of installing the Open Access technology and associated security measures.
Open Access will also go live on 2nd October at Cadbury Heath, Filton, Emersons Green, Winterbourne, Thornbury, Staple Hill and Yate libraries, with users able to use the library from 7.30am to 8.30pm, seven days a week.
The technology is also installed at Patchway Library, where opening hours are slightly different because the building is shared with the NHS. From 2nd October, Open Access hours will be 8.45am to 5pm Monday to Friday, except Tuesday when it will open later, until 7pm. Open Access hours on Saturdays will be from 9am to 1pm, but closed on Sundays. Additional funding from Patchway Town Council will also cover longer staffed hours than the core times funded by South Gloucestershire Council.
Bradley Stoke library has had Open Access in place since the beginning of 2017, where it has been successful in allowing new library users to access services during times when the library was previously closed. Those who work during the day and have limited time available during the weekends, for example, have been able to take advantage of early morning or evening opening, for example.
To use Open Access, users will need to receive an induction to the system at one of the libraries where it is installed. They can book a session either by visiting their local library or by going online to www.southglos.gov.uk/OpenAccess. Here, users will also be able to see the full terms and conditions of membership and use of the system.
All South Gloucestershire libraries will also be running with new staffed opening hours from 2nd October. These times are available in each branch and are published on the website at www.southglos.gov.uk/libraries
Another change taking effect from October is the withdrawal of the mobile library service. In Stoke Gifford, the council is supporting a replacement service that will see a fortnightly community library operate at The Old School Rooms. The first session will be on Tuesday 10th October, from 2pm until 4pm.
Cabinet member for communities and tourism, Cllr Heather Goddard, said:
“Our libraries are a wonderful resource, for residents of all ages. 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 people’s access to books and other resources, while making a contribution to the savings that we have had to make.”
“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.”
• Anyone without internet access can contact the library service on 01454 868006.
This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 6 & 7). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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