Homerton Library goes self-service

Borrowing from Homerton Library has never been easier following the introduction of the latest self-service technology.

The library is the first in Hackney to install the new system which allows users to scan items in and out like an Oyster Card and pay for them via the system and receive a print out of borrowed items and when they are due for return.

The system will help cut waiting times for people wanting to issue and return books, and free up library staff to provide more help to customers.

Councillor Nargis Khan, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “Going self-service will make borrowing quicker and easier, and will free up time for library staff to support customers via services such as homework clubs, book selection, outreach work and longer opening hours.”

The system uses Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) which consists of memory chips in adhesive tags that store specific information and communicate, via low power radio signals, to a transceiver.

There is a variety of advantages to the system, including touch screen technology which allows access to a large range of language options making borrowing easier for those that have difficulty communicating in English; it will facilitate increased privacy when borrowing materials, perhaps related to sensitive medical topics; several transactions can be completed in one stage reducing queuing times.

CLR James Library in Dalston will be the next library with RFID in July, followed by Hackney Central Library in September. All of the borough’s libraries will have the system by 2010.

For more information about Hackney Libraries, please visit: cl-libraries.htm or telephone: 020 8356 2539.