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Greater Norwich Growth Board

Jobs, homes and prosperity for local people


South Norfolk Libraries Self Service Improvements

IP22, IP20, NR5, NR14

This project introduced self-service technology at 4 of the libraries in South Norfolk, namely Costessey, Diss, Harleston and Loddon, which enables people to use the library outside of opening times. The technology allows the library service to automatically control and monitor building access, self-service kiosks, public access computers, lighting, alarms, public announcements, and customer safety.

This project allowed the libraries to increase their opening hours, making access to the library more convenient for current and new customers without an increase in staff costs.  This project offered a great opportunity for libraries to be accessible and relevant to more people.

The project also provided accessible customer toilet facilities at Wroxham Library. Toilet facilities are key customer requirements when they choose which libraries to use, so this was an important improvement.

The GNGB funded this project as it offered clear potential to provide additional access to community facilities for residents of Greater Norwich. The project had significant benefits:

  • Increase of opening hours at:
    • Diss, by 52% from 46.5 to 69 per week.
    • Harleston, by 123% from 31 to 69 per week.
    • Costessey, by 126% from 30.5 to 69 per week.
    • Loddon, by 200% from 23 to 69 per week (Loddon)
    • Halted a decline in numbers of loans
    • Improvement in library usage across demographic groups, including Aspiring Homemakers.
    • 93% of local library customers felt the scheme was useful

Since the project, the range of activities held in the library has increased and feedback from customers about the extended opening hours has been positive

“It is a wonderful innovation. I use it a lot and am rarely on my own. It means we have library access every day. I hope there has been no misuse. I have a sense of being trusted in order to help everyone in these days of stretched budgets.”

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