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In 2019 a further 12 of Leicestershire’s libraries will be converted to a self-access Smart Library, after successful trials in Syston and Birstall.
Self-access means that library members will be able to use their library card to access the buildings outside of staffed hours.
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.
Who can use a Smart Library
Smart Library membership is available to people 16 and over. Young people under 16 can still access the library during self-access times if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.
Existing library members who want to make use of self access opening hours need to ask for Smart Library membership.
Book groups and other community groups (such as ‘Knit and knatter’, craft clubs, history societies) are also able to use the library at these times. Anyone wishing to set up a community group can use the library as a meeting space within Smart Library hours.
When Smart Libraries are being introduced
The installation work at most of the 14 libraries is now complete and we will be moving to a new timetablel of opening hours from 1 April 2019.
In the meantime libraries are starting to operate a limited smart library service outside of current staffed hours. To see if your local library is doing this please visit your library web page.
The rollout plan follows a successful trial at Syston Library which ran from early 2017, known by the previous name of Library Plus.
In order to use a library in smart mode you will need to take part in an induction – please contact your library for further details.
When Smart Library technology has been installed across all 14 libraries, we'll be moving over to Smart Library hours.
We recognise that some library users might need more support in order to make full use of library facilities, so we are proposing to concentrate the staffed hours at times when these customers are more likely to use the service. From analysis of usage patterns we know that:
Mornings are generally a more popular time to use the library for people over 60 and people with a disability,
Afternoons are more popular with children and young people under 16,
Saturday mornings are a popular time for all user groups.