Free computer use for 30 minutes move at Bath and north east Somerset libraries
A free half-hour computer slot is being offered to users at the Bath area’s libraries.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has been under fire for charging people to use its computers, particularly as many of the users are on low incomes and maybe preparing CVs or applying for jobs.
Its standard £3 per hour charge will remain, but from next month, there will be an initial 30-minute free period.
The new regime on the People’s Network will start on April 2, when there will also be changes to some hire prices.
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Reservation fees are being standardised, with the charge for Librarieswest items set at £1 per item whether booked online or through a member of staff.
DVD and blu-ray hire charges will be reduced from £2.50 to £2 per week, while adult and concession fees for audio books will go up by 10p, although audio books will now be free for children.
Bath and North East Somerset Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Oldield) said: “We’re pleased to introduce a range of changes to allow people to get even more benefit from the council’s libraries. In particular, the 30 minutes free use of our People’s Network may help those who don’t have computer access and need to prepare CVs or job applications. We also hope that the free children’s audio books will help to encourage a love of literature amongst youngsters.”
Charges will remain the same for hiring DVD/blu-ray box sets, computer games, videos and music CDs.
A full list of the new charges can be downloaded at www.bathnes.gov.uk/libraryfees.
Libraries will be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, while Bath Central Library will also be closed from April 3 to 5 for maintenance work and staff training.
The maintenance work will include improved lighting over the reading area, carpet-cleaning, and the installation of extra electrical sockets for laptops and mobile phones.