Harrow Libraries Going Self Service

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 99 months ago
Harrow Libraries Going Self Service

Photo by pfig from the Londonist Flickr pool
Harrow Council is proposing replacing up to 40 librarians with self-service check-out machines in an effort to cut costs. Along with other councils placed in difficult circumstances by massive government budget cuts, Harrow needs to save money - if we're talking specifics, around 30%.

One of the immediate impacts is the plan to automate library returns and late fees, which could save £1m a year. Harrow are 'consulting' with library staff and unions, and the council hopes to unveil the bleepy barcode scanners next summer. Libraries are the sacred cows of public services and any change makes people howl, particularly ones that involve job losses. But when you look at plans in Lewisham to close five libraries down, being told there's an unexpected item in the reading area looks a much better alternative. Plus, one of our fellow scribblers at Londonist Towers rather likes the ones in Westminster libraries... this could be the start of a whole new world for Harrow readers.

(Incidentally - Islington and Richmond residents: your library services are also under review. More news when we get it.)

Last Updated 03 August 2010