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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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New home for Harraby library

A Carlisle library is to reopen in a community centre – and it’s going self-service.

The new Harraby library, which will be housed in the community centre, will be visited by library staff “on a regular basis”, the county council said, and will operate a self-issue system.

The county council said the new service would be open to the public for longer than previously and said it would be staffed in the first few weeks to help users get to grips with self service.

Visitors will be able to take books, CDs and DVDs out and also order those not in stock. A council spokesman said the self service worked by reading a bar code on books, and the borrower’s membership card.

“Customers can also check what items they have on loan and renew books without the need to have them with them,” he added.

“There are simple onscreen instructions and instructions on a notice next to the screen.”

He said the machines were in use in other libraries across the county, including The Lanes in Carlisle.

The three part time workers in the library will be redistributed to other sites and will work two half days a week in Harraby once the new service has settled in.

The move is part of proposals for redeveloping primary school places in Carlisle, with education bosses keen to move Pennine Way Primary into the former North Cumbria Technology College (NCTC) site, where the library was based.

Formal proposals to provide more primary school places are currently out to public consultation, with senior county councillors expected to reach a decision later this month. They include changes to Pennine Way’s intake and its proposed relocation.

The college site was boarded up last week and the final staff moved to the Richard Rose Central Academy, in Victoria Place. County council officials announced the library move yesterday, saying it would lead to increased opening hours, despite public concern at the closure.

They said opening hours would increase by 65 per cent and include Saturday and Sunday mornings because it would be open whenever the community centre is.

It will now open for 46 hours a week – up on the previous 28.

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