‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ is a proverb which will resonate with many Local Government organisations as they continue to look for efficiency savings in order to balance their accounts.
One area where this holds true is within council library services. Embracing innovative technological advances, systems are now available which provide the ability not only to automatically open and close libraries but also to maintain and control self-service kiosks, public access computers, lighting and security without the need for employees to be on-site. The technology aims to provide the flexibility to maximise self-service and to maintain and extend opening hours.
It is easy to understand why the move to unmanned libraries is an attractive proposition to councils experiencing significant financial pressures. However, employees provide vital services that cannot be completely replicated by technological solutions. This guidance note seeks to explore some of the issues that may arise in order to ensure that they are considered and managed effectively. Failure to identify and effectively manage these emerging risks may endanger people’s wellbeing and significantly impact on any projected financial savings through costly adverse incidents and associated compensation payments.
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