Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Backlash grows against unstaffed libraries

The Guardian – Use of keycards and self-service scanners cannot replace librarians, say campaigners – “Harriet Connides hasn’t been to her local library in north London’s East Finchley for months. She used to go every few days, often with her young daughter, but now it is staffed for only 16 hours a week and Connides, who has severe mobility problems, is uncomfortable being in there alone. “I don’t feel safe here any more. If I fall, I don’t know what would happen,” she says. The disabled toilets are also closed during unstaffed hours. “It’s another avenue cut off from someone who already has a lot of avenues cut off,” says Connides. East Finchley is one of about 150 libraries across the country now using “open library” technology to introduce unstaffed hours. This means you can access buildings, even if there are no library staff present, with your library card and a pin number and use self-service scanners to return and check out books. With local authorities under strain from cuts, full-time library staff numbers have fallen by 33% since 2010, and open libraries are on the rise. Essex county council is the latest to consider “smart library” technology after residents, backed by authors including David Baddiel and Jacqueline Wilson, successfully campaigned against library closures earlier this month. Worcestershire county council announced last week it is also looking at self-service, unstaffed hours…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.