Surbiton library is open to visitors again after a two-week makeover, which included the installation of new self-service machines.
Surbiton library has become the latest in the borough to roll out the new service, as part of the council’s initiative to bring all seven libraries up to speed. The overall investment into the library services will amount to half a million pounds, according to councillor Andrea Craig, cabinet member with responsibility for Heritage, Arts and Leisure.
The machines will allow library staff to give more attention to visitors.
Alison Townsend, a member of staff at Surbiton library, said:
“The idea (behind installing the machines) was to free up staff to do other things. They do not need to issue and discharge books manually now, and can concentrate on creating displays and talking to visitors about books they might be interested in. But there’s always going to be staff on the floor to help with the machines.
Visitors welcomed the new service, calling the machines “user-friendly”, “easy to operate” and “more intuitive than the previous versions”.
Thomas Madden, a local resident who visits the library on a regular basis, said:
“The new look is very good. I think it’s very nice to have the new chairs and the newspaper section. I was tempted to use it for 10 minutes. I also like the fact they haven’t made too many changes, keeping the children’s section and the computer rooms as they were.
“I was very impressed with the new self-service machines. I’ve had bad experience using these in the past, in libraries as well. I borrowed two books and had no problems with the interface: it was very easy, self-explanatory.”