Open all hours

Library members throughout Ireland will be able to check out books and use the internet out of hours, thanks to a new initiative.

The new open libraries initiative from the Department of the Environment will employ self-service and security technology to allow members unsupervised access to libraries out of hours. 

A report in the Irish Times notes that the system has been pioneered in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Taiwan.

'Under the pilot scheme, selected library buildings will be fitted with automatic doors. Users will gain access to the library by using their membership card and a pin number. They will be tracked as they move through the building by both prominent and discreet security cameras.'

RFID tracking will facilitate monitoring, supported by alarm systems and loudspeaker warnings. Staff areas will be locked and access by children will be restricted.

Users will not only have access to library materials, but can use the library for internet and wi-fi connection, photocopying, study and community activities. 

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