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Friendly staff being replaced by kiosks

WORRIED library users have hit out at Solihull Council after a self-service kiosk was introduced in Knowle library.

WORRIED library users have hit out at Solihull Council after a self-service kiosk was introduced in Knowle library.

Residents are concerned that the system which aims to make it easier for people to take out their favourite books, CDs and DVDs will hinder the ‘excellent service’ currently provided by the library staff.

Members of the public visiting the library can take out, return or renew items themselves by using their library card in the kiosks however they don’t see the need for change.

Joan Bruce uses the library on a regular basis and she is hoping that staff will still be available to help.

“I wouldn’t change anything there,” said the 85-year-old.

“I have no complaints with the current service and I never have to queue anyway.”

One furious resident who wished to remain anonymous asked: “Just what sort of service will these machines give?

“Will they greet us with a big smile? Will they say ah there is a book that you will love? I am furious.”

Retired Maurice Bluck said the staff were an important part of the library and very helpful whenever he visits.

“I don’t like the sound of machines replacing staff,” he said.

“It’s a great library with friendly staff and hopefully this new service dosen’t mean that will change.”

But Solihull Council hit back with a spokesperson saying; “The local authority is not replacing library staff with machines and the kiosks are just an alternative for people visiting the library to use, with members of the library teams still on hand to serve the public if they need to take out, return or renew items as usual.”

The kiosks have already been installed in Balsall Common, Dickens Heath and Knowle libraries and are due to be rolled out to Hobs Moat, Olton, Shirley and Castle Bromwich libraries in April.

Solihull Central Library is due to get a kiosk by mid May and Chelmsley Wood Library is also in the offing to get one by November this year.

 

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