Farnham Library will be closed from Monday, May 6 to Monday, May 13 for the installation of new technology that will allow the library to open ‘unstaffed’ for an additional 35 hours a week.

The new free-of-charge Super Access service has already gone live in four Surrey libraries, allowing registered users to enter libraries outside usual opening hours by entering their library pin code at the front door.

Farnham Library users will be able to access the library in West Street from 8am to 9.30am and 5.15pm to 8pm Monday to Saturday where there are staffed hours currently, and from 8am to 8pm on Sundays when the library is currently closed.

During Super Access hours, users 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, and search online reference services such as Ancestry.

Farnham Library

A spokesperson for Farnham Library said: “We are excited to be benefitting from the new Super Access technology here at Farnham Library which will allow customers, who sign up for the new Super Access membership, access to the library outside of our staffed hours. “This additional service will require some building work at Farnham Library, and we will be closing for a week for these changes to take place. “We apologise for the inconvenience this closure may cause.”

‘Staffless libraries’ are widespread in Scandinavia, particularly in Denmark, and the concept is taking hold in the UK where there are thought to be around 200 libraries offering unstaffed access to users.

With local authorities under strain from cuts and library staffing levels declining, it allows libraries to remain open for longer hours at little cost – and vandalism is rare.