CHARD is set to become the latest Somerset library to move to self-service following its successful introduction elsewhere in the county.

The touch-screen kiosks allow customers to borrow, renew and return books and other items as well as to check reservations and pay charges.

The library, run by Somerset County Council, will be temporarily closed for a week from Monday, December 9 while self-service equipment is fitted and refurbishment works completed.

The new-look library will re-open from 9am on December 16.

However, the ground floor of the library will be closed for a slightly longer period – from Thursday 14 November until Monday 16 December.

Stock from the ground floor will be temporarily relocated to the first floor during the closure.

Access to the building will be from the far end of the car park and will be clearly signposted from the main entrance. A customer lift can be used to reach the first floor as well as the usual staircase. 

Access to the South Somerset District Council community office and customer advice service, which is located on the ground floor, will be maintained during the library closure apart from on one day, Wednesday November 13, when it will be closed so that the contractors can separate off the District Council area from the library building works.

David Hall, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said: “The refurbishments and equipping of self-service kiosks at other county libraries have been well received by the public.

“Once in place, self-service will reduce queues at peak times and allow staff to focus on helping visitors get the most out of their library.”

Chard customers can also return and borrow items at any other Somerset or LibrariesWest library.

Items can be renewed online at or by speaking to a customer advisor on 0845-3459177.

In addition to the installation of self-service a number of other improvements will be made including the fitting of energy efficient lighting, a new enquiries desk, a new shelving layout, replacing and updating signage, a new front door and general decoration.

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