One solution to help libraries remain open in view of ongoing council cut-backs is to install self-service kiosks in them.
There would, of course, be an initial cost of installing the self service kiosks in libraries, but over time the usefulness of the devices would mean fewer staff would be required.
That’s because the kiosks could be used by the public to both check out and check in books.
Those staff can be freed up to complete other tasks, including returning books to the shelves.
The kiosks would also be able to pay library fines, print out material, book a class and advertise services online via an interactive kiosk.
The public can advertise their own local events
Libraries which already have such kiosks in place report that the public particularly appreciate being able to upload forthcoming local events such as galas, concerts, craft fairs and coffee mornings etc.
But asking library patrons to check out and return books, DVDs etc doesn’t just benefit the public by being quicker; it also frees up more time for library staff.
Not having to carry out admin-type tasks behind a central desk most of the time allows librarians to concentrate on the public.
They can provide more specialist services such as helping the public with online research, reading tuition and other valuable roles. It also makes the librarian’s job much more varied and interesting.
Another benefit of self-service kiosks in libraries is that they can be used by individuals who find it difficult to access their library during normal opening hours. This might be because they commute for work or work unsociable hours.
Local government procurement promotes self-service kiosks
And it’s not only us who think interactive library kiosks are a good idea.
The ESPO framework, which provides initiatives for local government procurement, agrees. To the extent, more libraries than ever before are looking towards public self-service kiosk solutions.
Library kiosks are not simply stand-alone items either. They can be configured to integrate with the council’s other systems.
This means that a resident can, for instance, book an uplift of goods, pay their council tax or report a road complaint while in via the library using a kiosk.
This saves that individual time and means the council call centre has to deal with fewer calls.
Obviously not everyone will take to the interactive kiosks initially, with the older generation in particular more likely to prefer face-to-face contact with staff.
But, looking at previous pilot programmes introducing self-service kiosks in libraries, most users came to accept the kiosks when library staff explained how to use them over an initial two-week period.
This was especially the case when users realised they could also access other council services from the interactive library kiosks.
Staff too have been impressed since the touch screen kiosks are pretty easy to understand when it comes to troubleshooting.
Receipts are provided to the public for payments while the kiosk itself calculates totals to make it easier for staff to cash up at the end of the day.
Self-service kiosks in libraries – Get in touch!
Library kiosks are just one of a number of areas in which interactive kiosks are making our lives easier in public.
To see more, take a look at our website www.acante.co.uk. We are sure you will be impressed with the technology on offer today.