Library to go self-service?

Thorney Library will become part self-service under plans by Peterborough City Council to reduce costs.

The library, in Church Street, is currently open 21 hours per week and is open each day except Sundays and Tuesdays.

Plans put forward by the council will mean the library is open for longer – 25 hours – but it would be staffed for only 10 hours per week. For the rest of the time it would be self-service, with users swiping in using a key card.

It’s not clear whether the current librarian – Jane Ward – will remain in her post.

The plans for Thorney Library are part of a wider plan by the city council to shave more than £350,000 off the costs of running Peterborough libraries.

A council spokesman said the way people were using libraries was changing. More than 90 per cent of book loans are now made using self-service kiosks.

“Library staff now spend much more time helping people to use computers, or supporting groups meeting in libraries, than they do dealing with ‘traditional’ library enquiries. The challenge we face is how to provide an excellent, modern library service, with less money.”

There’s currently a consultation exercise in progress (closing March 20). You can go online to register your views, although the options are to agree to city council proposals or not. There is no other plan apart from the one put forward.

You can read full details of the city council’s plans by clicking here. The link will also provide access to the online survey or you can access it directly by clicking here: survey.

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