Check it out! Innovation at a (real) Library

Checking out books is now fun!

Look kids! Checking out books is now fun!

I’ll admit it had been a while since I’d been to a library.  No excuse, public libraries are still tremendous places full of free knowledge, despite the ease of accessing all types of information in this digital age.  (Plus they’re always so quiet, still amazes me…)

So you can imagine my surprise upon noticing the self-checkout machines, another monumental step in the growing trend towards an automated world.  The friendly looking desk-sized devices displayed graphics-aided instructions and were simple enough to figure out.  You first scan the bar code on your library card.  Then you are prompted to scan the book.  Then it prints a receipt while telling you if you have any other books checked out.  Then you walk out with your head down, book in hand, and the alarm doesn’t beep.  So easy I’ve even been back since.

A good experience, well worth the awkwardness of having several bored librarians glaring at me throughout the endeavor… though now that I think about it, maybe they were glaring at the machines.  But don’t worry librarians, like so many machines, there’s still so much they can’t do.  Like collecting my late fee (all $1.10 for 11 days of tardiness – I’m a slow reader, okay?).  And chasing down book thieves, pretty sure they can’t do that yet.


One Response to Check it out! Innovation at a (real) Library

  1. Oleg says:

    If you think this is cool in a library, you should check out one of our allCIRC systems, especially the amazement on patron’s face when an actual DVD is dispensed to him/her.

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