BARRY Library is set to launch an exciting new open access system, allowing members to use its facilities outside normal staffed hours.
Provided by Bibliotheca, the system uses innovative technology to open a library and manage all the basic systems without employees being present. The open library concept represents a new way of working for public libraries, having been pioneered and successfully implemented across Scandinavia.
The first UK library to adopt the concept was Farsley in Leeds in order to provide earlier opening hours. By the end of 2016 there were a growing number of libraries across many authorities in the UK that had adopted the open library in some form.
As with many other locations, at Barry Library there will be a staged approach so that customers can become familiar with the new technology and demand for it can be assessed. The intention at Barry is initially to extend opening hours on weekday evenings, while providing access on Sundays is another possibility.
Bibliotheca is a leading developer in this area and provides the technology for most of the open access libraries in the UK and Ireland. The Bibliotheca Open+ system can control and monitor door entry, customer access, lighting, security gates, CCTV, the PA system and lockup procedures.
This enables use of the library without the need for staff to be present, including self-issue and return services and ICT access via library PCs or WiFi. It will also allow the New Vale Learning Centre in Central Library to offer a range of courses outside of the current library opening hours.