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Bedford Borough Council Library Modernisation Programme

Author: Justine Halsey, Corporate Communications, BBC Published: 3rd November 2011 12:02

Bedford Borough Council Library
Modernisation Programme

Bedford Borough Council Library Modernisation ProgrammeBedford Borough Council Library Modernisation ProgrammeBedford Borough Council is investing £229,000 in modernising our library facilities. Work being carried out will include the installation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology which allows customers to check out and return their own books quickly and easily, resulting in fewer queues. The system is easy to use and staff will be available to help people to get used to the new system. The introduction of RFID requires a combination of building works as well as reconfiguring the library and retagging all the 150,000 items of library stock.

This project is part of a 2 year ‘Invest to Save' modernisation project for libraries using one-off capital funding which will be paid back over 4 years from operational savings.

The installation at the Central Library is year 1 of this project, and requires completion before the end of this financial year to make use of the funding available and to achieve the first year's savings of £43,600.

The layout of the library will also be improved with better study and computer space on the 2nd floor and more space for Local Studies and Family History, as well as changes to the way the stock is organised to make it easier to find information on a subject in one place.

In order to complete this improvement programme, Bedford Central Library will be closed from Monday 5th December, and will reopen on Thursday 15th December

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Bedford Borough Council, said: "Many local authorities have been forced to make library closures, but despite severe budget constraints we are investing in our library service and have not closed any of our libraries. Bedford Central Library will close for a temporary period only, and we hope that future visitors will enter its doors in anticipation to see the new look library, which will be even easier to use. The library will continue to offer a wonderful place to enjoy a book or to work and study."

As much preparation as possible will be carried out before 5th December to minimise the disruption to customers - who will of course be able to use any of the other libraries within the Borough during the temporary closure period.


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