June 2, 2016
Burnham and Highbridge library users to benefit from regional link-up

Users of Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge libraries will soon be able to use over 150 libraries across the south west and get access to a huge catalogue of 2.5 million items as part of a raft of changes coming over the next few weeks.

The changes are being introduced this month as part of the expansion of the LibrariesWest consortium and the introduction of a new, shared management computer system for loans and stock.

On Tuesday 7th June, the existing LibrariesWest consortium of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire public library services will be enlarged when Dorset County and the Borough of Poole library services join as members.

Customers will then be able to access libraries, coast to coast from the Bristol Channel right down to the South Coast.

Customers will benefit by being able to use over 150 libraries across the LibrariesWest region; keeping and using their current library card at any LibrariesWest library; borrowing, renewing, returning and reserving items at any LibrariesWest library regardless of where they were originally borrowed from.

They will also get access to a wider range of stock through the shared catalogue, offering around 2.5 million items, and be able to use the LibrariesWest website and mobile App to search the catalogue, reserve and renew items 24/7.

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member with a responsibility for libraries, said: "I really welcome these positive benefits for our county-wide library services and I’m sure they will make a difference to people who have more specific needs or who simply use our libraries regularly for pleasure. Please bear with your local library over the next few weeks as there may be some disruption to services in the short term while we implement the changes."

In the run-up to the changes, from 31 May to 6 June there will be no access to the library catalogue and the customer database for staff and customers. During this period, libraries can issue and return items and customers can use the public computers and Wi-Fi. However, there will be no access to the Libraries West website or app, no access to customer accounts, no request service and on 14 June no public computers or Wi-Fi in any Somerset library.

From 17 – 26 June there will be no request service available while the consortium catalogues are amalgamated. During June there will also be a delay in the delivery of new titles whilst suppliers transfer systems. New titles will continue to be ordered and will start to arrive in libraries from July.

More information can be found at or ask your local library staff for the leaflet ‘Changes to your Library Service: Information for Customers.’



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