Self-service check outs launched in Council libraries

Published on 20 December 2021

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New self-service kiosks were officially launched on Monday 20 December in libraries across the Far North. The technology enables library users to check out their own books, magazines and other library materials, as well as renew books and check account details.

The contactless system is a timely addition to library services in the current COVID-19 environment and it is anticipated the technology will help to cut customer queues. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags placed inside library items allow the system to work in a similar way to supermarket self-service kiosks. Library users simply scan their library cards under a red laser which is motion activated. Once a library card is scanned, the user’s account information appears on the kiosk screen, followed by prompts on how to check items out. Library users can also see books they have on hold, any fees owed, they can change the type size on the screen, and perform transactions in a range of languages, including te reo Māori. The kiosk also accepts library card details stored within phone apps like the Far North District Libraries app.

During the Monday launch of the new system, Far North Deputy Mayor, Ann Court, was impressed with the range of services the new technology offers, noting it is a significant modernisation for library users.

She says the roll-out to all six libraries will benefit the whole Far North community. “It’s another example of our library staff helping the community to embrace new technology that will make their lives easier. I’m proud of the way that library staff are constantly innovating and are supporting our customers as their needs and technology evolve.”

Staff will be on hand to guide users through the new system, but it is anticipated that the new self-service technology will free them to assist on complicated enquiries and deliver popular programmes like Storytime, Tamariki Tune Time, adult crafting groups, CV building workshops, computer and device help, ESOL and literacy services.