Dozens of councillors, council officers and invited guests gathered in Swindon’s Central Library to celebrate the success of the work undertaken since September to introduce the extended access system at the borough’s five core libraries.

The new system seeks to ensure that the Core Libraries remain as fully accessible as possible to library users by installing state-of-the-art technology that enables the libraries to be accessed outside of the usual staffed hours.

The technology will allow library users to access the libraries by scanning their library cards and entering a pin, but they must attend an induction session in order to have their library card membership registered for extended access.

Cllr Mary Martin, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Place, said: “I must congratulate the library and council staff and the contractors for progressing this installation across the core libraries with minimal disruption.

“It presents a wonderful opportunity for the library users to access the core libraries outside of staffed hours, typically 8am-8pm including Sundays.

“This is such an exciting time for Swindon Libraries and Information Service with the introduction of additional services such as Code Club, internet courses, literacy skills, the availability of e-books and e-magazines as well as publishing our own books.

“I encourage all those who have not visited a library recently to do so soon, you’ll be amazed on just how much is on offer.”

Head of Libraries and Information Service, Allyson Jordan, said: “Extended access is now installed at all libraries and we are carrying out the final testing at Park Library before going live there.

“If you are an existing library customer aged 16 years and above you can register to use extended access provided you have been a full library member for at least three months.

“For those aged 15 years you can register to use Extended Access if you are accompanied by a parent or carer to register and to attend the induction with you. Naturally there are terms and conditions but this will all be explained as part of the induction process.

“The update for extended access has been going very well and I am pleased to say that Deputy Mayor Cllr Junab Ali, who signed up last night, is the 400th person to do so.”

Cllr Ali also helped to launch the latest publication by the Local Studies team, part of Swindon Libraries and Information Service. ‘Roll of Honour 1939-1945: Swindon & District’ has been a labour of love for Local Studies officer Katherine Cole over the past four and an half years as her diligent research has brought into publication for the first time details of all those Swindonians who died during the Second World War, those who were prisoners of war and those who received gallantry medals.

There will be a public launch of the book at Central Library on Saturday (9 Dec) at 2pm. The price of the book is £7.99.

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