Offaly libraries to trial 'My Open Library' system aimed at abolishing fines and increasing opening hours

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Offaly libraries to trial self-service system

Offaly libraries to trial self-service system

Ferbane, Edenderry, Banagher and Tullamore will pilot the recently announced “My Open Library” initiative, Offaly Fine Gael TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has said.

The five-year Library Strategy includes the complete abolition of library fines and the roll out of the “My Open Library” initiative which will see a significant increase in library opening times in 100 of the 330 library branches around the country.

“This is great news for library users across Offaly. With the abolition of all fines and increased opening hours in many of our local libraries, I hope that more people will visit and use their local libraries," Marcella commented.

“The libraries involved in the My Open Library initiative will see library opening hours increase from current normal working hours to: 8am-10pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Libraries will continue to be fully staffed during the normal working hours and there will be no decrease in staffing hours under this arrangement."

Ferbane, Edenderry, Banagher and Tullamore will be among the initial tranche of libraries in which My Open Library will be rolled out and the extended opening hours will be implemented by autumn of this year. The remaining libraries to avail of the initiative will be identified and during the course of the strategy and I hope to see more libraries in Offaly benefitting from this wonderful initiative.

“The increase in opening hours is made possible by the provision of self-service technology; library users will be able to scan books in and out when the libraries are unmanned. Libraries will continue to be fully staffed during normal working hours.

“Last year, Minister Ring allocated €3.4 million for self-service technology, books and hot desking facilities in preparation for the rollout of this strategy. Local authorities invested a further €1.2 million. I know there will be further investment by Minister Ring in library buildings, improving services and technology in order to ensure that our libraries thrive," Marcella explained.

“The Government is working to ensure active library membership increases from 16% of the population to 30% by 2022. This strategy focuses on removing barriers to access by eliminating fines and other charges, and challenging the belief that the library is only for certain sectors of society.”