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Self-help scheme widens libraries access in Inverness

Issued: 18 Jan 2007

A Highland Council pilot project introduced tomorrow (Friday 19th January, 2007) at Inverness Library will enable wider access to library services and allow staff to devote more time to helping their customers make the most of the library service.

Highland Councillor Roderick Balfour will meet libraries staff and members of the Inverness Polish Association at the library to see a demonstration of a new computer that allows library users to personally check out and in items they are borrowing.

Councillor Balfour said: "I am very impressed with this amazing piece of technology which will help people to borrow and return items from the library at their own convenience. I look forward to the knock-on improvements to service that this will afford as staff will have more time to help users in other aspects of the library."
Carol Goodfellow, Highland Council's Library officer said: "The self-issue machine in Inverness Library will free up staff time to assist and interact with readers generally. The new machine will also help people who are learning English as a second or other language to achieve Internet skills through using the People's Network."
Zosia Wierzbowicz-Fraser, Chairman of the Inverness Polish Association said: "The new self-issue system at the Library will be very useful for the Polish customers, as it reduces the need for explaining things. It will also make the whole process of taking out books a lot simpler for everyone. The Poles are frequently to be found in the library using the Internet and word is beginning to spread that there are Polish books there too! I am grateful to the staff of Inverness Library in being so helpful and supportive of the Polish Community, in making many facilities available to them."

The first self issue machine was introduced at Locharron Library last week and will soon be coming to Achiltibuie and Mallaig Libraries, which will be available out with library opening hours, and also at Tain, and Dornoch Libraries.

At each of these sites members of the public will be given training in getting the best out of the library service through using the on-line library catalogue, accessing e-resources, and making the most of the People's Network computers which provide free internet access in all Highland Council libraries.

Library staff are working in partnership with local organisations to support particular groups of library users. At Inverness library staff are working with groups whom English is a second language, or who have other language needs. At Lochcarron the library service is working with the management of the Howard Doris Centre for the elderly. The partner at Achiltibuie is the village hall committee; at Tain the local reading groups; at Dornoch the UHI Centre for History; at Mallaig the Lochaber College Community Learning Centre.

This £63,000 Highland Council project is funded by the Scottish Executive through the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) as part of the Public Libraries Quality Improvement programme.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme