Wellington library is going self-service and closing for five weeks from February 24th for re-equipping and refurbishment.
Automatic machines will allow library users to borrow, reserve and return books without a staff member being involved. Several other Somerset libraries, including the central library in Taunton, have gone self-service recently.
Staff at Wellington say that they have not been told of any job cuts but overall the county council is hoping to save £2m in staffing and other costs by moving to automatic libraries.
This week Somerset announced a council tax freeze and another 100 job losses from its workforce as part of a need to save £18m a year from its budget.
Wellington library will also be re-carpeted and have new energy efficient lighting, as well as a new Enquiries Desk and shelving during its makeover.
Whilst the library is closed borrowers will be able to return books to any other Somerset library or renew the loan online at www.librarieswest.org.uk or by phone at 0845 345 9177.
David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said: “The refurbishments and equipping of self-service kiosks at other county libraries have been well received by the public.
“Once in place, self-service will reduce queues at peak times and allow staff to focus on helping visitors get the most out of their library.”
Self-service libraries are a controversial topic. Just before Christmas the topic had a huge response on the social forum MumsNet. Click here to see the comments.