My Local Library; Times are changing
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.