Croydon introduces self-service technology to enable open access to library during extended opening times

A self-service library system is being trialled by Croydon Council to provide longer and more convenient opening times for residents.

Selsdon Library in South Croydon is the first branch to be fitted with Open+ computer technology that allows registered members to access the building using their library card and PIN code when the service is not being staffed.

This will ensure there are more opportunities to borrow books and use computers and study areas for those who would usually struggle to get to a library during standard opening hours.

The council will be collecting feedback from library members during the pilot with a view to roll the system out to other branches.

Library members can register for Open+ at Selsdon Library, where staff will explain how to use the technology. Then, from the launch date on 11 May, registered members will be able to try out the self-service system for the first time.

Usual services will be available – members can borrow, renew and return items using the self-service kiosk, collect book reservations, and use a computer or WiFi to access the internet, eBooks or other online resources.

Security measures will be in place and CCTV will be in operation during the Selsdon pilot for the safety of visitors. Once the last customer has left, the Open+ system will turn off the lights in the building and close down computers and WiFi.

The cost of the new facilities at Selsdon have been financed through the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is charged to new developments to invest in local infrastructure, and ringfenced funding from the council’s capital expenditure budget.

Selsdon Library will be staffed as normal from 10am-6pm on Monday and Wednesday, and 9am-5pm on Saturday during the pilot. The Open+ system will be in operation from 10am-6pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, providing an additional 24 hours a week of opening times. It is intended that these hours will be extended after the pilot.

Jason Perry

“We know libraries are important to our residents so we are exploring ways we can offer an efficient and cost-effective service, whilst giving members access to facilities at times that fit in with their busy lives.

“We are looking forward to getting the Open+ technology launched in Selsdon and will be listening to residents about their experiences of the new service.”

Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon

Open+ is available to all adults aged 18 and over and young people from 16 years old can register with parental consent. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when using the library through Open+.

2023-04-27T11:45:49+01:00 April 27th, 2023|Recent news|