ReaderPLUS – protecting Gladstone’s users for the future

ReaderPLUS – protecting Gladstone’s users for the future

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If you’ve visited Gladstone's Library recently, you might have noticed a change in the front corridor: new Reader Application forms! These grass-green beauties – very appropriate for spring – replace the well-known A4 Reader Form that every Reader will have completed at one time or another.

Why new forms? Well, there’s a number of reasons. Firstly, it was time for a bit of a refresher. The old forms were designed by the Reading Rooms team and printed in-house whenever stocks ran low. Though brimming with home-made charm (the team aren’t exactly qualified designers but we like to think we did our best), the old forms were too big, prone to wonky printing, and didn’t convey as much information as we’d like. The Library’s had something of a design revolution recently, and it’s time the Reader form got in on the act.

Secondly, there’s the new General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force next week. A dedicated GDPR team here at the Library have been preparing for more than a year to ensure a smooth transition; as a user, you might have noticed little differences here and there on the Library’s forms and website. Under the new regulations it’s important that the Library holds only the most relevant personal information that our users submit to us, and that we clearly communicate what we do with your data. The design of the new forms mean that we can communicate a lot more information to every user, new and old. Have a read next time you’re passing!

Thirdly, the GDPR review process means that we now know a lot more about what our users do when they visit Gladstone’s Library. The GDPR team’s review revealed that the average Friend behaves quite differently to the average Reader or Resident. They want different things, use different areas, and browse different books. The majority of Friends don’t use the Reading Rooms at all, in fact, while for Readers and Residents, it’s one of the most important spaces. In order to ensure that our different user groups get the best possible experience while remaining GDPR-compliant, the Library team have developed three ‘new’ ways of engaging with Gladstone’s Library:

Reader Free to join and can work in the Reading Rooms from 9am - 5pm, Monday to Saturday.
ReaderPLUS If you’re a Friend who wants to use the Reading Rooms, then you simply join ReaderPLUS. Fill in a form, show some ID to prove you’re over 18, and you can then work from 9am - 10pm every day (subject to accepting the Late Working Guidelines).
Friend A way to support the Library from anywhere in the world. Anyone who wants to support the work of Gladstone’s Library can become a Friend, from a minimum of £12 per year. From September 2018, Friends will have no automatic access to the Reading Rooms.

So, how does this affect you? ReaderPLUS FAQ

Does this mean I have to pay to work in the Reading Rooms?

Absolutely not! Joining as a Reader is free and remains free.

I’m a Reader and I work 9am - 5pm. Do I need to do anything?

There’s no change at all. Just use your Reader card to work 9am - 5pm, Monday-Saturday.

I’m a Friend and I don’t use the Reading Rooms.

There’s no change – and thank you for supporting everything Gladstone’s Library does! If you decide you do want to work in the Reading Rooms, you can join ReaderPLUS if you’re over 18, and join as a Reader if you’re under 18. There is no charge for Reader or ReaderPLUS.

I’m a Friend and I want to work after 5pm

If you’re over 18, that’s fine. Just complete a Reader form, ticking the ReaderPLUS box and including your Friend number. Show your ID at the Enquiry Desk to prove you’re over 18, and you’ll get an email in a week or so when your ReaderPLUS card is available for collection.

What form do I need?

It’s the bright green form that you can find in our front corridor, or you can download one [here]. The first line of the ‘Sign up’ section of the form gives you the option to check the ‘Reader’ box or the ‘ReaderPLUS’ box. If you are selecting ReaderPLUS pop your valid Friend number in the space to the right and just fill in the form as usual.

But I’ve filled in a Reader form, then filled in a Friend form to work late! Do I have to complete another form?

Not at all! If you were a Reader prior to becoming a Friend of Gladstone’s Library, we are very happy to re-activate that Readership. Simply pop along to the Enquiry Desk with a piece of ID (one that proves your age), decide whether Reader or ReaderPLUS works best for you, and we’ll do the rest.

I’m not currently a Reader or a Friend, but I’m over 18 and I want to work until 10pm.

All you need to do is join as a Friend, then when you receive your Friend number, complete a Reader form, ticking the ReaderPLUS box. Once you’ve had your confirmation email (including our Late Working Guidelines) and received your ReaderPLUS card, you can work until 10pm. Anyone with a ReaderPLUS card can gain entry after 5pm without having to show extra identification.

Can I join as a ReaderPLUS and work after 5pm on the same day?

We’re afraid not. We anticipate that the wait between sign-up and working late will be just over a week. Everything we do is designed to keep you safe, and keep our collections safe. Reading Rooms staff work closely with other libraries to ensure our security is in line with national best practice.

I’m under 18.

You can join as a Reader for free and work in the Reading Rooms from 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday.

Is the Friends scheme still active?

The Friends scheme is absolutely still active we really value our Friends! Friends of Gladstone’s Library support everything we do here and help to secure the Library for generations to come. Friendship is for those wishing to financially support Gladstone’s Library and gain access to benefits such as priority booking and Friends-only offers and events.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff or get in touch on 01244 532350 or