Hackney to implement new, improved library systems

There has never been a better time to join Hackney libraries. Over the next eight months, library users in the borough will have access to even more resources and efficient systems thanks to the introduction of a series of improvements by Hackney’s Library Service.

From September, Hackney Library Services will be joining 10 other boroughs in the London Libraries Consortium. This means that local users will be able to use their Hackney library card to access over five million books, CDs, DVDs, as well as e-resources such as online directories, through the combined catalogues of the member boroughs - Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Enfield, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth.

With their existing card Hackney library users will be able to borrow from libraries in any of the member areas, although local terms and conditions may vary in each borough. They can also reserve any item on the combined catalogue at no charge.

As part of the changes Hackney Libraries also wants to make it easier for users to get reminders and updates by email. By signing up for this service, members will be notified when reserved items are available for collection or when items are about to become overdue so they can avoid fines.

Then later in the year, Hackney’s Library Service will be rolling out its new self-service system, which will allow users to check books in and out themselves. This will provide a quicker more efficient service that will also free up staff to assist users with more complex requests.

Councillor Nargis Khan, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The introduction of these improvements comes at a fitting time as the Council encourages more people to visit their local library in this the 2008 National Year of Reading. We hope the exciting developments will result in users seeing a real difference in the services we provide and demonstrate what a wonderful resource our libraries are.”

The Library Service will be offering coaching sessions on how to use the new systems so that users can see just how easy it will be to explore the expanded collection, reserve items online and check items in and out.

Staff will also be on hand to answer questions and deal with any teething problems that may arise as part of the implementation of the new systems, in order to keep inconvenience to a minimum.

Hackney Library Services also welcomes feedback, if users have a comment or query they can speak to a member of staff or fill in a comments card available in libraries.

For more information about Hackney Library Services visit the Council’s website: