LibraryPlus is being extended to Kempston and Putnoe libraries from Tuesday 19 April, bringing with it an increase in overall opening hours and providing a more flexible, convenient service for customers.
LibraryPlus has been running successfully at Bedford Central, Bromham and Wootton libraries since 2017, with over 12,000 residents signing up to the service.
LibraryPlus provides a mixture of staffed hours, as well as using technology to allow access to customers during unstaffed, self-service hours. During the self-service hours, LibraryPlus customers can enter the libraries to browse the shelves, borrow and return items, use the computers, study and work, and meet friends and family.
Once signed up, you simply scan your library card and use your PIN to enter the library. To ensure that libraries are used safely, LibraryPlus uses a range of systems to support customers during self-service hours, including CCTV monitoring, help points and public announcements.
The extension of LibraryPlus to Putnoe and Kempston Libraries follows a public consultation last year, which saw the majority of respondents supporting or strongly supporting the proposal at both libraries.
Staffed hours will be reduced, enabling the Council to make ongoing savings, while overall opening hours will increase from 61 to 98.5 hours per week. Extending LibraryPlus will mean increased, flexible opening hours at convenient times, whilst still providing core hours when customers can interact with library staff.
Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said, “The introduction of LibraryPlus at Bedford Central, Bromham and Wootton Libraries has been really successful, and I am glad that users at Putnoe and Kempston Library are in favour of this extension of the service to their libraries too.
“The introduction of LibraryPlus at Kempston and Putnoe Libraries enables us to deliver efficiencies through service delivery, building on the successful operation of LibraryPlus in the Borough Libraries since 2017, whilst increasing opening hours in our libraries. Like many other Councils across the country Bedford Borough Council needs to make savings, £17million by 2026, due to reducing Government grants and the impact of COVID-19.
“Library users aged 16 and over can sign up for LibraryPlus just by popping into their local library, and you can find out more about how the service works and the changes to opening hours at Kempston and Putnoe libraries by visiting www.bedford.gov.uk/libraries.”