Library’s ‘high-quality services undermined’ by poor IT system

Congresbury Library will be taken on by the parish council. Photo by Zak Ghent.

Congresbury Library will be taken on by the parish council. Photo by Zak Ghent. - Credit: Archant

North Somerset’s libraries will be given upgraded IT in the future – but one of the district’s libraries has been without a ‘reliable’ system for a year.

Congresbury Library

Congresbury Library - Credit: Archant

Congresbury Parish Council took over the running of its village library when North Somerset Council carried out a community access review to save money.

A number of libraries across the district were merged with children’s centres, but Congresbury chose to run its centre in Station Road.

As part of the arrangement, North Somerset Council agreed to provide access to the computers, and look after the IT system through its contract with Agilisys.

However, Congresbury councillor Tom Leimdorfer, speaking at the full council meeting last week, said: “Congresbury Parish Council and local volunteers have worked hard to deliver high-quality services at Congresbury community library on behalf of North Somerset Council.

“During the past year, the quality of the provision has been undermined by the failure of Agilisys to provide and support a reliable IT system.

“This failure is quite unacceptable.

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“Since November, the printer has only worked for about two weeks.

“We have been having to turn people away which is embarrassing to say the last.”

Cllr Leimdorfer asked for the situation to be resolved as a matter of priority.

Cllr David Pasley, North Somerset’s executive member responsible for the transformation programme, said: “The library has a unique set-up with IT which is old and difficult to support.

“A significant amount of time has been spent by Agilisys at the library rectifying various issues.

“Agilisys is urgently investigating the printer issues and hopes it will be sorted in the near future.

“A long-term fit-for-purpose IT solution is required for all libraries.

“It will be a system which alleviates all the issues and uses a Windows 10 desktop.

“We hope to deliver the project in 2019-20 or sooner if at all possible.”

It costs Congresbury Parish Council around £4,000 a year to run the library and when it voted to do so, it said it would use an increase in tax to pay for it.

It increased its council tax precept up by two per cent this year.