Thursday, March 24, 2011

Abingdon Library goes self-service, and how!










After a couple of weeks absence from visiting Abingdon Library, Charlotte and I were amazed to find the whole place completely changed the last time we visited. 

Abingdon Library has now gone 'Self Service" for loans and book returns and the setup is most impressive, particularly for youngsters who get their own fantastic machine to handle the processes previously undertaken by the excellent staff (rest assured though, hopefully this doesn't mean the lovely people there will be disappearing any time soon). 

For children's book returns, a touch-screen display (complete with Rainforest or Underwater themes) allows parents (or button-pressing busy girls like Charlotte) to stack their books on the reader plate. A few simple on-screen prompts take you through the entire process. All books are automatically scanned back in (that bit was fantastic and most impressive!) and then books are stacked to the left of the display, ready for dropping back onto shelves. 

Checking books back out again does the whole thing in reverse. Your library card / barcode is scanned by a laser scanner first, then you stack your books up as before, the system reads all the chips inside, and they're booked out against your card. A printed receipt is issued as a reminder for when they need to be back. 

Guided through the process by the ever-helpful staff, we can't wait to use it again. (BTW a quick hello to them if they find their way here, as I did drop a few hints about the blog while I was in there - Well, you never know!)

Charlotte's best bit - The noises the rainforest theme checkin makes

Daddy's favourite bit - The fantastic auto-scanning-book-stack thing. 

Rating - A unanimous 50 billion out of 5. 

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