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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

PC Usage in Brent Libraries

Now that the opening of Willesden Library effectively finishes the Libraries Transformation Project, it is worth thinking about how Brent Libraries can progress further, especially in terms of PC usage.  The Brent case, and a case subsequently in Lincolnshire, confirmed that this is now part of the statutory duty for public Libraries

The current arrangement in Brent is that people can use their own devices on WiFi for an unlimited period, but the use of desktop PCs is limited to two hours per day.  In Wembley Library, I believe the staff have discretion to extend this to three hours if it is not a busy period.  Once you use your time that is it for the day.

Why not instead have (say) a weekly time budget?  You could roll over your allocated time to spend it all in one day or eke it out day by day.  It would certainly give users more flexibility that way.  I can see it might also create problems at peak periods, which I would imagine would include week ends and perhaps exam periods as the sheer volume of people might lead to congestion, but it is worth thinking about, and might broaden usage of libraries to a wider number of people.

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