A CHANGE in the way public libraries are managed in Somerset means lenders are being offered a temporary amnesty for books and other borrowed items.

The computer system which all libraries use to issue, return, and reserve library materials will migrate to a new programme over a number of days at the end of the month.

A library service spokesperson said: “There will be a few days of disruption to our services while this takes place.”

The changeover will be kick-started on Thursday, May 23, and should take up to 14 days to be completed, during which time libraries will operate with a reduced system.

The last day of the current management system will be Wednesday, May 22, and all libraries are expected to return to full functionality on Thursday, June 6.

The public library in Williton.
The public library in Williton. (Tindle News)

The spokesperson said: “Libraries will remain open but will be operating slightly differently.

“You will still be able to return and borrow items, but please ensure you bring your library membership card and pin with you to enable you to do this.

“Any items due for return during this time will be extended until Saturday, June 15.

“You will not be able to place reservations during this period.

“Reading groups may want to order books for their June meetings now to avoid missing out.”

Somerset’s library service website and app will be available again from Friday, June 7, before which time users will not be able to log on to their accounts, search the library catalogue, or reserve items.

The library website www.librarieswest.org.uk will automatically update on devices if a user already has the app downloaded.

Customers already logged into BorrowBox, which is used to access to e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-newspapers, will still be able to access them during the changeover.

But any customers not logged into BorrowBox will be unable to access the facility until the new website goes lives on June 7.

The spokesperson said: “Customers are advised to remain logged into BorrowBox to avoid losing access.

“We apologise for any disruption caused while this work is completed.

“Further updates will follow in the coming weeks.”