Money saving tech to cost library jobs

b11-1383 Bedford Centrel Library Harpur Square, Bedford. JE wk 48
b11-1383 Bedford Centrel Library Harpur Square, Bedford. JE wk 48

MODERNISING Bedford Central Library by installing a new self serve system will save taxpayers money but will cost at least four full time jobs.

Bedford Borough Council is investing £229,000 in installing a Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) this month meaning the library will be closed from Monday for ten days to retag 150,000 items of stock and complete building works.

Council chiefs have estimated that the new equipment, along with other efficiencies, will return savings of £43,600 in its first year.

The new system will allow customers to check out and return their own books resulting in fewer queues. But efficiencies will also be made in staffing levels with three front line posts set to go and a further 2.75 full time equivalent posts also set for the chop.

Dough McMurdo, portfolio holder for leisure and culture at Borough Hall said: “Many local authorities have been forced to make library closures, but despite severe budget constraints we are investing in our library service and have not closed any of our libraries.

“Bedford Central Library will close for a temporary period only, and we hope that future visitors will enter its doors in anticipation to see the new look library which will be even easier to use.”