Sidmouth Library to shut for �80k revamp

SIDMOUTH Library will shut for nearly two weeks next month when self-service technology is installed as part of an �80,000 refurbishment.

Devon County Council (DCC) says borrowing items from the Blackmore Drive hub will be quicker and easier when its current issue desk is ditched in favour of the technology.

A pair of kiosks will be fitted when the library is closed from February 14 to 27. Wireless internet will be installed at the same time.

DCC chiefs say the move will save time for library users, who’ll be able to check their own items in and out, cut queues, and free up staff to help customers.

“This new, simple technology will be hugely beneficial to improving the library service experience. It’s excellent news we’re investing in Sidmouth,” said Councillor Roger Croad, DCC cabinet member for libraries.

“Kiosks installed in 14 libraries across Devon are proving a hit with borrowers.”

Machines will be introduced as part of a county-wide modernisation scheme to make libraries ‘faster and more efficient’.

Most Read

A DCC spokesman said, in order to safely install the kiosks and remove the “old fashioned” issue desk, the library must be closed.

She added residents will be able to borrow extra books for the closure period if needed.

DCC revealed in July last year that up to �80,000 had been set aside for the work.

The project has not won the support of some library regulars.

Michael Brittain, of Bulverton, uses the facility around four times a week and is not a fan of self-service kiosks he’s seen in other places like Seaton. “We weren’t consulted whether we wanted this system,” said Mr Brittain.

He questioned the timing of investing cash on the technology at a time, it is hoped, the library and adjoining health centre could be completely redeveloped.