BRIDGWATER Library will be closed over the Christmas period while self-service machines are fitted and a refurbishment is completed.

Users will be offered a mobile library service in the town and extra opening hours at North Petherton Library while the works are carried out between December 6 and mid-January.

The new touch-screen kiosks will allow customers to borrow, renew and return books and other items, as well as check reservations and pay charges.

Refurbishment works will focus on the ground floor and will include the removal of existing library counters and the installation of new, smaller staff points.

Signage will also be improved and carpets will be replaced.

Bridgwater is the third Somerset library to introduce self-service facilities, following successful installations in Taunton in July and Burnham last month.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Bridgwater Library,” said Cllr David Hall, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries at Somerset County Council.

“Staff will, of course, be on hand to help people get to grips with the new kiosks.

“Once in place, self-service will allow staff to focus on helping visitors get the most out of their library.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the closure but I’m sure the final outcome will be more than worth it.”

The extended opening hours at North Petherton Library will run from 9.30am–1pm and 2pm–5pm, Monday to Friday, as well as 9.30am–1pm on Saturdays.

A mobile library will also be parked outside the Library Administration Centre in Mount Street, Bridgwater, during the closure.