Self-Checkout of Library Books: Brilliant!
Efficiency and Cost Savings for Libraries
Today I visited the Dublin, California, Alameda County public library. New checkout technology absolutely amazed and delighted me. Similar to self-checkout systems in grocery stores, home improvement stores, gas stations - basically any retail operation - this library had two incredibly easy machines for members to checkout books on their own. No library staff is required.
No More Checkout Lines
No more Marion the Librarian. Or at least fewer of them. The checkout machine scans the bar code of one's library card and then scans the bar code on each type of media being taken. Yes, it is not for books alone. I found the V-shaped trough (please see photo) used at the Dublin Library to be very helpful, because it helps position the item being scanned. The machines were quiet, they had instructions displayed on a computer monitor above the scanning area, and they gave the patron an option of having a receipt of the transaction printed out. This printing also occurs quickly and quietly. I believe that even the most technology-challenged patron could master these.
Therefore, if patrons can do the checkout, they can avoid the lines waiting for a circultion staffer to check them out. No lines, happy patrons. Less staff for circulation desk -- either less salaries to pay, or those staffers are assigned to other valuable duties.
for library fans
Kudos to the Alameda County library system
I did a search of libraries with self-checkout and found precious few in the United States. Therefore, I congratulate this library on making this investment. Dublin Library, lead on!
- The Dublin Library - Alameda County Library Branch
Welcome to the Dublin Library's web site.
Text copyright 2011 Maren E Morgan