Opening hours to double at Portishead Library

Opening hours at Portishead Library are set to double following the introduction of a new self-service system.

Portishead will be the first library in North Somerset to benefit from the swipe card access system, branded ‘Extended Access’.

It will enable library members who have signed up to the scheme to use the library at any time between 8am-8pm, Monday to Saturday, and 10am-4pm on Sunday.

It means the library’s opening hours will increase from the current 37.5 hours a week to 78 hours.

To enable the new technology to be installed, the library at Horatio House in Harbour Road will temporarily close from Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 November and again on Tuesday and Wednesday 28 and 29 November.

The new service is due to go live in December.

Following Portishead, the technology will be introduced at selected other North Somerset libraries in the near future including Yatton, Worle and Winscombe. It means that weekly library opening hours at all these sites will increase significantly.

The system is already successfully and safely used in more than 480 libraries across the country.

“Convenience is important to today’s users and this will give people greater flexibility in how and when they use the library service,” said Cllr Felicity Baker, North Somerset Council’s executive member responsible for libraries.

“The new technology is designed to complement the core staffed hours, enabling libraries to stay open longer in the evenings and at weekends. It means people will have the choice of visiting during hours when staff are available or during the unstaffed self-serve hours.”