Oklahoma’s Pioneer Library System (PLS) this week became the first library in the U.S. to debut Envisionware’s new 24-Hour Library. Officials plan to use two new vending units to offer 24 hour pickup for reserve materials at a small new branch near a busy shopping area, and to enhance access to materials in another location near a community center and a middle school.
With many libraries facing the squeeze of rising usage and flat or declining funding, self-service technologies have become more of a necessity. Librarians who discussed these technologies with LJ said that self-service options generally improve service overall. With these tools in place, staff have more time to answer questions and assist patrons.
As part of the preparation for the upcoming LJ Virtual Tech Summit on December 8, The Digital Shift is featuring interviews with some of the panelists. LJ talked to Gretchen Caserotti, assistant director for public services at Darien Library, CT, and a 2010 LJ Mover & Shaker, about self-service at Darien Library.