Council chiefs will beef up security at Melton Library so users can feel safe accessing the building when it is closed to the public as part of a move to make it partly self-service.
Leicestershire County Council will save £230,000 as a result of the new set-up, which will be rolled out in 15 libraries across the county, including Melton’s Wilton Road service.
Concerns had been expressed by some that they would not feel safe in a large building if they are alone with strangers.
But after County Hall approved self-service access at its libraries, Councillor Richard Blunt, cabinet member for libraries, told the Melton Times: “We are planning to roll out SMART, or self-service, library technology across 15 libraries, including Melton Mowbray, and will now carry out an assessment on all the individual libraries.
“We are aware of concerns, and want to reassure customers that safety is a top priority.
“Following a successful test in Syston, we will be looking at installing CCTV equipment, as well as carrying out fire risk assessments and consulting with customers about opening hours.”
Under the new arrangement, people who’ve registered to take part would use their library card to access the buildings, in order to borrow, return and renew items or use the public computers, wifi and printing and copying facilities.
The moves are part of a wider iniative which will save the county council £1.3 million.
Councillor Richard Blunt, cabinet member for communities and wellbeing, said: “Self-access technology makes it more convenient for people who work during the day or on shifts, plus parents who want to take their children to the library on the way to school.
“Budget pressures are ramping up, leaving us with tough choices. But we have a clear strategy in place, and are committed to exploring innovative ideas.
“Given our increasing financial pressures, it’s essential to look at future options for a small number of services.”