Barnet Libraries due to receive £250,000 technology upgrade

I have just issued the following Press Release

Barnet’s libraries are set to benefit from the investment of more than £250,000 through the introduction of self service technology and Wi-Fi.

Over the coming months work will be underway to install self service kiosks in the borough’s libraries to allow residents to borrow, renew and return books at the touch of a button.

Libraries already using the technology will have their machines updated while at other libraries people will be able to use the self service machines for the first time.

The upgrade will also see Wi-Fi installed in libraries which don’t already have it.

Installation work will require a number of the borough’s libraries to close for a short time. Details of the closures can be found below or by visiting http://www.barnet.gov.uk/libraries

The machines will help free up staff to deal with more complex enquiries and to run events and activities.

RFIDs, or Radio Frequency Identification kiosks, allow people to place multiple books into the machine which they can borrow, renew or return using a number of touch screen options.

Staff will be on hand to help customers as they become familiar with the new machines.

Councillor Robert Rams, Cabinet Member for Customer Access and Partnerships, said: “When I launched our library review we pledged to invest money in modern technology to ensure that our library service continues to be one of the best in London.

“Over the next few months we will see our Library service brought into the 21st Century with the installation of self service kiosks.

“In some libraries we are spending up to £40,000 to enable us to do this, but residents will see the benefits for many years to come.”

The following closures will be in place to allow installation or self service technology and Wi-Fi.

Osidge Library – closed from Tuesday 26 February until Saturday 9 March inclusive. The library will re-open on Tuesday 12 March.

Mill Hill Library – closed on Tuesday 26 February from 9.30am – 2pm. The library will re-open the same day at 2pm.

Hendon Library – closed on Thursday 28 February. The library will re-open on Friday 1 March.

Edgware Library – closed on Monday 4 March. The library will re-open on Tuesday 5 March.

Church End Library – closed from Monday 11 March until Saturday 23 March inclusive. The library will re-open on Monday 25 March.

Grahame Park Library – closed on Tuesday 12 March from 9.30am – 2pm. The library will re-open on the same day at 2pm.

Chipping Barnet – closed on Wednesday 13 March 9.30am – 2pm. The library will re-open on the same day at 2pm.

Childs Hill Library – closed from Tuesday 19 March until Saturday 30 March. The library will re-open on Tuesday 2 April.

East Barnet Library – closed on Monday 25 March 2013. The library will re-open on Tuesday 26 March.

Notes to Editors

Some libraries will be closed for longer than others. This is because some libraries will be undergoing additional renovation work and modifications to the internal structure.

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