A NEW system will allow library users to access the service beyond normal hours.

The Bibliotheca Open+ system uses innovative technology to operate all the basic systems without library staff needing to be there.

The system can control and monitor door entry, customer access, lighting, security gates, CCTV, the PA system and lock-up procedures.

This enables use of the library without the need for staff to be present, including self-issue and return services and ICT access via library PCs or WiFi.

It will also allow the new Vale Learning Centre in Central Library to offer a range of courses outside of the current library opening hours.

The open library concept was pioneered and implemented in Scandinavia and is now a new way of working for public libraries in the UK.

The first UK library to adopt it was Farsley in Leeds to provide earlier opening hours.

By the end of 2016, there was a growing number of libraries across many authorities in the UK that had adopted the open library in some form.

There will be a staged approach so customers can get used to it and so demand can be judged.

The initial intention is to open Barry Library later on weekday evenings with Sunday openings also being considered.

Bibliotheca is a leading developer in this area and provides the technology for most of the open access libraries in the UK and Ireland.