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Self-Service Opening

Self-Service Opening will allow eligible library card holders to use our libraries during unstaffed opening hours. This service uses technology which allows us to keep the libraries open for longer.  

Following a successful pilot, Self-Service Opening hours are already available at Colindale, Chipping Barnet and Edgware libraries. The service will only be offered in Core and Core Plus libraries.

How it works

Registered users can enter the library by scanning their library card and entering a unique PIN (used for current library transactions) into the Self-service machine outside the library. Once inside the library you'll be able to: 

  • borrow, renew, and return items using the self-service kiosks
  • use a PC to access online resources
  • photocopy and print items
  • place and collect reservations
  • read newspapers and periodicals
  • access wifi, ebooks and e-audiobooks

The service is free to use and will be available in all our Core and Core Plus libraries at Edgware, Colindale, Church End, Chipping Barnet, Burnt Oak, Golders Green, North Finchley, East Finchley, Hendon, and Osidge.

Who can use

The service can be used by all registered users over the age of 18 years old who have a valid library card and a unique PIN.  Please see below for details of how children and young people can use the library during Self-Service Opening hours. 

How to register

Adults over 18 can register in advance by filling out a simple form available from any Barnet library. When registering, please bring along one form of identification that has your name and address.  

Once registered, your current library card and PIN will allow you access. To enter the library during the Self-Service Opening hours, you'll be required to scan your card and enter your PIN. If you're currently not a registered user of Barnet libraries, you can sign up at any Barnet library, where you will be allocated a card.

Dos and don'ts

Over the coming months, we'll have lots of useful information and instructions to help you learn the dos and don’ts about using Self-Service Opening. 

The key things you must be aware:

  • don't let anyone else use your library card to access the building
  • be careful not to let anyone else enter the library behind you ie no 'tailgating' 
  • please leave the building when the service closes and take all your belongings with you.
  • use all equipment and services responsibly and keep your library space tidy


All Core and Core plus libraries will be fitted with CCTV that will be monitored live by a trained person (who is off-site) during unstaffed hours. Learn more about our CCTV policy.

Will toilets be available during Self-Service Opening hours?

No. The toilets will be closed during unstaffed hours.  

What happens when staff leave the building and I want to remain in there for the Self-Service opening hours?

At the end of staffed opening times, all users will be required to leave the building to allow library staff to close the library. There will be a very short delay before registered users of Self-Service Opening will be able to scan their card and enter their PIN to re-enter the building.  

Children and young people

There will be separate areas of the library dedicated to children and teenagers.

Children and young people can use the library during the Self-Service Opening hours when accompanied by a registered adult user (18 or over).

There're some exceptions to the rules about young people using the library during Self-Service Opening hours. Refer to the table for more information or contact us at changinglibraries@barnet.gov.uk if you're unsure. 

Age group
Is unaccompanied access allowed during Self-Service opening hours?
Additional requirements
Under 15
Students in year 11 (aged 15)
Parent must sign the registration form
School must stamp the registration form
16 and 17 year olds
Parent must sign the registration form
18 and over


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