Out of hours library move ‘positive’

Maghera Library has hosted an Out of Hours service open day for members of the local community and businesses in the library to find out more about the service.

The Out of Hours service provides the community with more options to use facilities at a time that suits them for an additional 30 hours per week.

Also attending the event were local Mid Ulster Councillors Brian McGuigan and Martin Kearney, and Chair of the Council Councillor Sean McPeake.

The pilot project, with funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), is aimed at supporting access to broadband in rural areas granting registered adults access to a range of facilities on a self-service basis including computers, printing, Wi-Fi access, study space and book borrowing.

To access the library during the Out of Hours service hours, you must be age 18 or over and be a library member.

Children under 18 are welcome to use the service accompanied for the entire duration of their visit by an adult member.

To access the library building during the Out of Hours timetable, current and new customers must register in Maghera Library and also attend an informative induction event to show the operational and safety measures involved.

If you are not a member then you can simply sign up to library membership which is free and open to all.

Jim O’Hagan, Libraries NI Chief Executive said: “The service has proved popular with a wide range of members of the community, especially students, regular customers, freelance business people and parents coming in with children; particularly on days that the library would have normally been closed, the Out of Hours service gives people more options to use the library at a time that suits them.

“We have been encouraged by how local people have embraced this new service and the sense of ownership by users and the community.

“I would like to invite you to call in to Maghera Library to find out more about the technology and the Out of Hours service.”

A DAERA spokesperson added: “The provision of extended access to library facilities and services in rural areas will deliver a range of benefits, including access to high-speed broadband that can contribute to the reduction of social isolation and financial poverty.

“The Out of Hours Library initiative is an excellent example of how public bodies can work in partnership to create positive outcomes for disadvantaged rural communities.”