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My Local Library; Times are changing

Updated on June 9, 2008

My Local Library

Since recently moving to the Atlanta area, I have had my first chance to go to my local library last week.

At first glance, as you walk in, it appears just as any other public library. They had the alarm by the doors, front desk near the entrance/exit, several computer stations, teen and children areas, and of course, books galore. Because this was my first visit; I went straight to the front desk and signed up for a library card for myself and my family. The woman behind the desk was very helpful and friendly, and within 10 minutes we had all of our cards. Before leaving she explained to me that they have an online system as well where I could search the county libraries for books not available at my local branch, I could also reserve books ahead of time from home and pick them up later, and I would be able to extend the due date from home as well. Wow, I thought what great benefits from a library. I had never experienced extra services like that before.

When it came time to leave they "blew me away" even more. We had only a few minutes to check out our books before the library closed, and there was no one in sight around the front desk to check out. I said, "Isn't this great, 5 minutes to closing and now you can't find anyone to help you." But I was wrong; I watched a teenager walk up to one of the sides of the front desk, she laid all her books on this white pad looking thing, put her library card on this scanner, punched a few buttons on the monitor by her, and next thing I know she's taking all her stuff and leaving. Amazing, that was it, that's all I had to do, it looked like magic from afar, so as she left I walked up to the desk. They have three self check out stations set up around the front desk to check out your materials. [Provided you don't owe any fines; those would have to be taken care of by the librarian or online] You walk up to a station and lay all your materials down on this white pad that reads the sensor that they programmed into the book, it reads the sensors, and puts all your book information into the computer and on the monitor. Then you place your library card down on a scanner that reads the barcode on it and all your information comes up on the screen for you to check your materials out. Just okay that the information and material titles are correct, grab your receipt that tells you your due dates and book information, and that's it; your done.

I have never ever seen any library that had this much technology; that is such a great idea for checking books out. It makes it so much easier and quicker to go in and get out of the library; especially when you know exactly what your looking for or in a rush. I hope all the libraries in my area update to this new system; it works great and is convienient.


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    • stylezink profile image

      stylezink 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

      Yeah they are getting pretty cool. I wrote this a few years back and wonder if they have added anything else these days. I totally agree with what you said being a blessing and a curse.

      Thanks for reading!

    • NiaG profile image

      NiaG 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Wow I've not been to the library in years! I thought they were getting pretty schnazzy then. They just keep moving right along. But it does make me wonder whose jobs all that technology replaced. It's all a blessing and a curse.

    • saif113sb profile image

      saif113sb 6 years ago

      The public library is one of my favourite resources. great information. thanks

    • stylezink profile image

      stylezink 9 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

      I do have to say the lack of human contact does somewhat bother me too, I think they should do like all the groceries stores and give you an option of self check out. At least have someone nearby or in sight.

    • abowie profile image

      abowie 9 years ago from San Francisco

      I just experienced this for the first time myself. I was blown away by the self check out and how easy it was. The only thing that was bothersom was the lack of human contact. I remember being young and the librarian talking to me about the books I was checking out. Its sad how we no longer have that.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Bigger county libraries do have all these bells and whisles. Unfortunately smaller county and city libraries often still do things the old fashion way. However, one of the most beautiful libraries in Southern California is still pretty old fashioned, but we have a great selection of books :). This was an interesting hub and thanks for sharing.

    • First Eagle profile image

      First Eagle 9 years ago

      Are we online ?

      We live in a world that everything can be done if you are online. Great, I will be online.

      First Eagle, Thor Einar

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      I wish we had high tech libraries like this in South Africa.Our libraries are still very low tech and conventional.

      Great Hub!

    • wilsonskennels profile image

      wilsonskennels 9 years ago from Vernon,florida

      it's wonderful to go to the library isn't it ? All that information at your fingertips! There is nothing like a good book!

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      Great info and we all should take advantage of our great public libraries -- saves money -- very educational and great fun at our fingertips.  In today's economy this is becoming more important.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      I didn't know you could check out your own books! I guess I haven't been to the library in a while :(

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      The public library is one of my favourite resources. Nice hub.