New Technology Allows Redditch Libraries to Open Without Staff - The Redditch Standard

New Technology Allows Redditch Libraries to Open Without Staff

New technology is being adopted that allows libraries across Redditch to operate without any staff at all. This means that the libraries can open for longer hours, including when there are no staff on duty. The Malvern Library is one of the first libraries across the country that’s being targeted by the Unlocked scheme. Library members can access the building at any time and so far, experiences have been positive.

Libraries Unlocked is being rolled out across Evesham, Kidderminster, Pershore, Hagley, Wythall and Redditch. New software and hardware is needed across the libraries to make sure that the scheme is going to work, however. In the case of the Malvern Library, this has resulted in the application of listed building consent. The building is currently Grade II listed.

Photo by Element5 Digital: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-book-from-shelf-1370298/

Access Around the Clock

Ever since the digital boom, having access around the clock has become the norm. For example, to play online games such as the Plinko Go game, or Eagle Strike then all you have to do is sign up with an online casino and make a deposit. You can then access the game you want from your phone, regardless of what time it is, or where you are in the world. Even though libraries aren’t capable of adopting access at this level, moving to a staffless system will facilitate greater access and convenience for those who want to read books, helping to align traditional libraries with the current digital movement. To facilitate the adoption, work is being carried out to install new CCTV cameras along with speakers, cabling, trunking and entry systems. Library staff can set the times in which the building is going to be unstaffed, and any lights or computers will power automatically during certain times.

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-reading-book-256455/

Ensuring the Security of Libraries

During Staff-less Hours Documents have been released that detail what movements are going to be made regarding staffless libraries. When closing time is reached, the lights will go out and any computers will power down. An intruder alarm will also be set. People within the building will also be given the chance to evacuate. Even though staffless hours are being adopted, this makes it easier for libraries to adopt their own opening hours.




Each library can choose whether they open 24 hours, or whether they are open later than usual, but without staff. District planners approved the plans for the libraries recently, with plans to go ahead with Malvern Library first. This library was opened in 1906, and it is also home to Malvern Registration Services and the Worcestershire Hub customer service division. The Great Malvern Memorial is also within the grounds, so steps have to be taken to ensure that the library being open for longer than usual is not going to introduce extra security risks to the area.

Tech advancements like this are helping to bring libraries into our current digital age while ensuring that they are able to more effectively serve the next generation of readers. Longer opening hours could even ensure the longevity of libraries, engaging locals on a higher level by being more accessible.


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