Super Access in Surrey libraries - Extended opening hours

Surrey Libraries are installing new technology which provides longer and more convenient opening times for residents, extended opening hours which are in addition to the existing staff hours.

Horley library is now live and is the first library to have this technology installed. Registered library members, who have had a short introduction to the new technology can have their borrower account amended to include Super Access. Details of Super Access at Horley Library and how to register for the short introduction.

Super Access: Introduction at Horley Library

Book your slot for an introduction to Super Access.

Any full Surrey Libraries member can upgrade to Super Access membership allowing you to enter the library using your library membership card outside normal opening hours and use library services independently when staff are not present.

Before Super Access is enabled on a borrower's account, we are asking everyone to have a branch introduction with us so library staff can show you how the system works and how to use the library in Super Access mode. We have multiple dates and times to choose from and will continue to add more, so book your library introduction today to access this great service at Horley Library.

Book a slot for an Introduction to Super Access at Horley Library

What is Surrey Libraries Super Access?

Surrey Libraries Super Access is a new service from Surrey Libraries which offers longer opening hours and more flexibility for customers and community groups to use their local library at times that are convenient to them.

New technology allows customers to upgrade to Super Access membership allowing them to enter the library using their library membership card outside normal opening hours and use library services independently when staff are not present.

An introduction is required to be able to use this service. The service is only available for those aged 16 and over to ensure a safe and thorough understanding of how the technology works.

Which libraries will have Super Access?

Surrey Libraries Super Access is now live in Horley Library.

Super Access will also be rolled out in phases to the following locations by the end of 2024:


Why has Super Access been introduced in Surrey?

The work is part of Surrey County Council's Library and Cultural Services Transformation focused on increasing its services impact and ensuring that Surrey libraries deliver a service that is fit for the future and accessible to all.

Super Access will unlock the full potential of library buildings, increase access beyond the current opening hours and empower communities to reap wider benefits from using these valuable spaces.

Longer opening hours allow equality of access across different areas of the county contributing to Surrey's mission of 'No one left behind'.

How have you selected which Surrey Libraries are to receive the Super Access technology?

The 13 Libraries selected for the first phase of Super Access have been chosen due to their geographic spread, the size of the communities they serve, so we can maximise impact and the suitability of their building. There will be at least one Super Access library in every district and Borough and two in Waverley and Reigate and Banstead where there is more than one large town.

Who can use Surrey Libraries Super Access?

Super Access is available to those aged 16 and over. Children under 16 cannot be given their own access but can accompany a parent or guardian into the building provided the adult present has signed up for Super Access. Library users will be provided with a short introduction on how to access the building and the services available by a member of library staff prior to signing up. As part of the sign-up process, members will need to agree to Super Access terms and conditions before they can use this additional service.

Can library users bring a friend or family member who isn't a library member?

No, 16s and over will need to have signed up to Super Access to enter the library. All library users will have to have a short introduction to the service by a member of library staff and will need to agree to Super Access terms and conditions before they can use this additional service.

Children under 16 cannot be given their own access but can accompany a parent or guardian into the building provided the adult present has signed up for Super Access.

Why is this service only for people who request it, and not part of a standard membership?

Super Access is not automatically available as part of library membership. This is because everyone who signs up for Super Access will need to have a short introduction to the service by a member of library staff and will need to agree to Super Access terms and conditions before they can use this additional service. This ensures that everyone who uses it is confident on how to access the building and which services are available to use. We cannot offer Super Access to borrowers under 16 unless they are accompanied by a Super Access adult member for safeguarding reasons.

When is Surrey Libraries Super Access available?

On days where there are staffed hours currently, Super Access hours will initially be:

  • 8am to 9.30am and
  • 5.15pm to 8pm.
  • On days libraries are currently closed (for example Mondays at Horley) Super Access will be available from 8am to 8pm.

How are Super Access libraries accessed outside of staffed opening hours?

Library users who have completed their short introduction will enter the library by scanning their library card and entering their library PIN at the door once they have Surrey Libraries Super Access enabled.

This PIN is the same number used to login into online services. If you are unsure what you pin is, please speak to a member of staff.

What services will be available during Surrey Libraries Super Access opening times?

During Super Access hours you can:

  • Borrow, return and renew library items using self-service kiosks.
  • Use a free library computer or free library Wi-Fi and print documents.
  • Use study spaces.
  • Take part in activities provided by library partners.
  • Meet with friends or join a social group.
  • Search online reference services e.g. Ancestry.

For more information see the library webpage.

How does Super Access work?

The technology allows scheduled opening hours for the library when the library will be staffed, Open Access or closed.

While open as Super Access, the system will run the library without staff present, controlling door access, the self-service kiosks, public computers, lighting, and alarm systems.

When switching from scheduled opening hours to Super Access hours, everyone will need to exit the building and re-enter. This ensures that only Super Access members that have completed their short introduction and have had Super Access enabled on their account are inside the library when it switches to Super Access mode.

Is Super Access free?

Yes. There will be no charge for Super Access membership.

Is Super Access safe to use?

This type of technology is well established in libraries and has been used by other library authorities for some time. There are over 140 libraries in the UK who currently have this technology installed. Other authorities have been consulted with throughout the planning and implementation process.

Library members in these libraries have been respectful and understood that additional access to libraries is a privilege.

CCTV coverage will be extensive and members in the building will be identifiable as they have scanned in using their library card. If there was an incident in a library, library members in the building at that time would be easily identified and appropriate action taken.

Risk assessments will be completed for each branch, and where risks are found mitigating actions will be undertaken.

Safety measures include:

  • A short mandatory induction for anyone wishing to become a Surrey Libraries Super Access member. This includes providing all Super Access members with:
    • A good understanding of how to respond in the unlikely event of an emergency.
    • Detail on procedures in place and how to raise an alarm.
    • How to report non-emergency issues.
    • The terms and conditions of use.
    • A phone and contact details are provided to raise issues with the Council during Super Access hours.
    • Clear instructions for emergency procedures and clearly signposted evacuation routes and fire safety equipment.
    • Full CCTV coverage inside the library to capture all activity during Super Access hours.
    • A system is also in place for Super Access members to report non-emergency issues to the local library team for follow-up, for example, problems with IT or other equipment.

Will all library services be available in Super Access mode?

No. Super Access hours are in addition to our usual open time as we recognise that our staff input is crucial for several of our services, so we will not be able to offer a full service while in Surrey Libraries Super Access mode. We can, however offer a lot of our core services including book borrowing, study spaces, free access to the internet either through our public PCs or Wi-Fi and printing. Super Access also allows users to hire our meeting spaces outside of our staffed opening hours.

Are Surrey library staff still available to provide support for customers?

Library staff are still available to provide support to library users throughout the week during staffed library hours; helping library users to locate and access trusted information sources; signposting them to a wealth of services and resources and developing and delivering activities and events that meet their needs.

How will library users know when the library is closing?

The closing process in Super Access mode is completely automated. Before closing, there is a series of voice announcements and visual cues to let users know that it is closing time. All library users will be required to leave the library by the scheduled closing time.

What policies and procedures apply during Super Access hours?

Our standard policies and procedures apply at all times, including during Super Access hours. Please see our webpage: Library policies and procedures.

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