Portishead Library’s opening hours have increased dramatically following the introduction of a new self-service system, branded ‘Extended Access’.

The library was the first in North Somerset to have the new swipe card access system installed which has seen its opening times double.

More than 480 libraries across the country use the new technology, including some in neighbouring Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The extended opening hours mean customers have more time and choice than ever before to access the library with its facilities now available earlier in the mornings, later in the evenings and for longer at weekends.

This means that parents can call in on their way to school in the mornings and 9-5 workers are able to drop by more easily on their way home.

The extended opening hours also mean other benefits. Parents dropping youngsters off for Swimming lessons at Parish Wharf can now pop across to the library to get something to read whilst the class is on.

Those who need somewhere quiet to study away from the distractions at home will benefit, and it also provides an informal space to meet with groups.

How can you access the self-service opening hours?

Customers who have registered to use the service can use their library card to gain swipe access to the building.

Once in the building they are able to use the facilities on a self-service basis, including borrowing and returning items, using the computers and Wi-Fi and printing.

Anyone interested in using the library in ‘Extended Access’ needs to attend an induction and sign up for the scheme. Inductions can be booked online at www.eventbrite.co.uk (search for ‘Portishead Library’) or through library staff. The inductions are hosted by library staff and they will walk you through a safety briefing and give you information about the service.

Reserve a book for free

Reserving an item from any North Somerset library is currently free for library members. The reservation fee was suspended for a year last July to encourage more people to use the library service. Charges still apply to drama, music and reading group sets, as well as items not in the LibrariesWest consortium.


New Opening Times