With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions we can once again turn on our Open+ self-service technology in those libraries where it was previously available. And we’ve extended the technology to another three libraries. 

Open+ technology, provided by Bibliotheca, enables people to use the library on a self-service basis without the need for staff to be present. Open+ controls door access, lighting, public computers and the self-service kiosks and is monitored via CCTV. Registered users visit the Library, scan their Library card at the entry panel and enter their unique four-digit PIN. 

Use your library when it’s more convenient for you

Before COVID-19 over 3,000 people had already registered to use Open+ and there had been over 17,000 visits to Open+ libraries outside staffed hours. People use their library in lots of different ways, for lots of different reasons and we know that Open+ customers have said they like the flexibility of Open+ to visit the library, to borrow books, for studying and to use a Public PC or the Wi-Fi as the library is accessible for longer hours each day.

Brilliant idea, very useful for my A-level revision.

Library customer

Open+ has been amazing giving me access to a quiet space for work at the right times.  I am seeing more and more students coming in which is also great.

Library customer

What a boon Open+ is for working people.  I’ve just changed my books on a Sunday – great service.

Library customer

Through Open+ we have now extended the hours in nine of our libraries: Bramhall, Bredbury, Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Hazel Grove,  Heatons, Heald Green, High Lane, and Marple. So these libraries are now available to their communities when it’s more convenient for them. Library staff will be available for residents during weekdays and on Saturdays, providing plenty of time for people who can’t or don’t want to use the library on a self-serve basis to access face-to-face services, help and support from library staff.

For those who are happy to self-serve it is a great addition to the services we provide. Library users can pick up a reserved item, borrow and return books, use the library computers or the Wi-Fi on their own devices.

Community groups can also continue to use the space to meet for a whole host of reasons, which include reading groups, board games groups, sewing and knitting clubs, local associations and friends’ groups. 

The nine libraries will be available 8.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm on Saturdays and 9am to 4pm on Sundays.

How to register

Registering for Open+ is simple. We ask people to provide one proof of identity such as a birth certificate or driving licence and one proof of address such as Council Tax or utility bill. You must be over 16 to register. There’s no need to register again if you’ve used the service before.

Next steps

We plan to promote this service and encourage use across the nine libraries.

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