Hertfordshire has extended its unstaffed self-service pilot to a third library – Bovingdon, near Hemel Hempstead.
It is partnering with a local school to open the library on Monday mornings during term time while class visits take place.
The scheme has already been implemented in Radlett, where the library opens on a self-service basis in partnership with a children’s services agency, and in Waltham Cross, which is run unstaffed at certain points in the week as part of a Broxbourne District Council one-stop shop.
You can check out opening arrangements at all Hertfordshire libraries here.
This means that users will be able to issue, return and renew items via the self-service kiosks, as well as browse library stock and use the photocopier. However, the absence of staff means that no other library services will be available and the usual levels of assistance will not be available.
The pilot project is due to be reviewed at the end of July and will help to inform future policy on the use of library buildings by community groups.
We Heart Libraries remains strongly opposed to the principle of unstaffed opening in the county’s libraries – we believe it is potentially extremely damaging to the library service and not worth the short-term gains in access to library buildings that it provides.
You can read a fuller account of our arguments against it here.