Self-service opening technology

Self-service opening allows 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.  

Self-service opening hours are now available at Burnt Oak, Chipping Barnet, Colindale, East Finchley, Edgware, Finchley Church End, Golders Green, Hendon, North Finchley and Osidge libraries. The service will only be offered in Core and Core Plus libraries.

How it works

Users who have upgraded their library card can enter the library by scanning their card and entering a unique PIN (used for current library transactions) into the self-service machine outside the library. See below for details of how to upgrade your card.

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 eAudiobooks

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

Who can use self-service opening

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 and upgrade your library card

Adults over 18 can register and upgrade their card 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/ upgraded, 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 of are:

  • 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
  • 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 are 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.

Change over

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 are 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 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