Library to pilot new 'out of hours' service

Whitehead Library (archive image).
Whitehead Library (archive image).

Whitehead Library will be piloting a new 'Out of Hours' service from this Thursday, December 7.

The service offers adults controlled access to library facilities outside of normal library opening hours, according to Libraries NI.

Whitehead Library is currently open 30 hours a week; under the new scheme, the Out of Hours service will allow customers to access a limited but important range of services during an additional 30 hours.

These will include broadband/WiFi access, printing facilities, study space and book borrowing on a self-service basis.

"To access the library during the Out of Hours service hours, you must be age 18 or over and be a library member," a spokesperson for Libraries NI said.

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

"To access the library building during the Out of Hours timetable, current and new customers must register in Whitehead Library and they must also attend an informative induction event to show the operational and safety measures for using the service."

Customers are invited to come along to one of two induction events to find out more about the Out of Hours Service and to how to access it.

These will be held on Thursday, December 7 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm and on Monday, December 11 from 10:00am – 2:00pm.

Everyone is welcome to come along.

This pilot project is funded by DAERA (the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs), and a major aim is to address the limited broadband availability in some areas by offering increased access to library broadband, Wi-Fi and computer facilities.

A DAERA spokesperson added: “This pilot project is funded by DAERA (the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) through its Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme.

!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.”

Whitehead Library opening hours are:

Tuesday: from 10:00am - 1:00pm and from 1:30pm - 7:00pm; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: from 10:00am - 1:00pm and from1:30pm - 5:00pm.

'Out of Hours' service:

Monday: from 10:00am - 8:00pm; Tuesday from 7:00pm - 8:00pm; Wednesday from 5:00pm - 8:00pm; Thursday from 10:00am - 8:00pm;Friday and Saturday from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.

Contact Whitehead Library (17B Edward Road, BT38 9QB) on telephone: 028 9335 3249 or email: