Brave new chapter begins at library

Jane Chilton , library cluster manager, with the new self-service machine.
Jane Chilton , library cluster manager, with the new self-service machine.

NEW futuristic machines have been unveiled at the Littlehampton Library which could, potentially, alter the way library services in the town work, permanently.

A gleaming set of self-service machines have been installed in the library, in Maltravers Road, as part of a county-wide roll-out of the equipment.

Since being installed, the library has seen a dramatic increase in the number of books and DVDs being hired – something which cluster manager Jane Chilton feels is directly linked to the new self-service machines.

Jane said: “Issues have soared through the roof since we got them.

“We’ve had about 2,800 books taken out during the first week alone, which is about 300 more than usual for this time of year.

“It’s been fantastic to see. The new self-service facilities help to free up staff to work on the shop floor.

“They make us more approachable and give us the opportunity to get stuck into different aspects of library services.

“The machines are very simple to use. You can return books, find out when your books are due in, what outstanding books or payments you have. They’re fantastic pieces of equipment.”

Jane added that about 95 per cent of customers coming into the library felt that the new self-service terminals were a great addition.

There have been concerns that introducing self-service machines like this could potentially put library jobs at risk.

However, Jane said: “All libraries have had to make cutbacks in staff.

“We have done that naturally through people retiring and then not being replaced. We have not lost people.

“But in the scheme of things the county council has got to make savings and one way of doing that is by installing these machines.

“This is just another evolutionary step in library services.”