For those of us who are from an older age group,libraries are a valuable resource. They are also well used by children. Many groups of them can be seen benefiting from experiencing literature and the fun offered.
I hope that by the time you read this article our Council has been able to save as many as possible. We have told them about a new idea that is being Implemented in Leicestershire. It has also existed in Denmark since 2004. There now many hundreds operating across the world, as well as in the UK. They are being called Smart Libraries. The basic system of smart libraries allows anyone who has a library card and a pin number, to enter a smart library. Most of what can done in a manned library can also be achieved in a smart library, including booked meetings.
Smart libraries are cheaper to run, no staff at them, however they can be open for longer hours. They are kept secure by live cameras covering the whole of the area. Most facilities offered when the libraries are manned, are still available
During self-access hours, Smart Library members can:
- Borrow, return and renew library books using the self-service kiosks
- Pick up and borrow reserved items awaiting collection
- Use public computers, photocopy, print and access Wi-Fi
- Access the public library catalogue
- Meet as a group free of charge in the open library space
- Hire a meeting room (pre booking required)
When in Smart Library mode staff won’t be on site to help with the computers, answer enquiries about books and other library resources or provide general information, but you’ll still be able to do all of the above.
We hope that they will appear in Northamptonshire in the not too distant future.