Remodeling Complete!

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If you haven’t visited the Central Library for a while, you’re in for a surprise. We unveiled the new streamlined check-out desk this morning.

The lighter, brighter desk uses less space and its open design makes it easier for staff to leave the desk to help patrons.

Behind the new desk you’ll see a wall of books, movies, and music—all being held on reserve for patrons. You can easily find your own reserved materials and take them to the new checkout kiosk, installed in December.

Three new monitors near the desk show daily library events and information, plus a news channel—we’ll broadcast the Olympics for the next week or so.

A very generous bequest made all these changes possible, starting more than a year ago when we installed Radio Frequency Identification. RFID has increased our efficiency, allowing us to reorganize work and reduce staff positions as individuals retire or resign.

Best of all, with RFID patrons quickly and easily check out their own materials. No more waiting in lines!

We’re very grateful to the anonymous donor whose gift allowed us to invest in this new technology and to remodel the check out desk to serve you better. Come visit soon to see the changes at Central.


Renovation at Central Library

Posted by Ann Rohrbaugh at 02/15/2010 08:12:56 AM | 

The new desk is nice. I did wait in a long line yesterday mid-day, however. In the past, more staff would have helped out but with only two stations, that is not an option. I am not interested in self checkout. I come to the library to be a part of a community, NOT to interact with computers even more.

On that note, I hope the powers-that-be reconsider their choice to show CNN on that monitor. I come to the library several times a week with my children. The shocking images I saw on CNN of bloodied soldiers and shooting while I waited yesterday were almost too much for me. I can only imagine the questions my five-year-old would have asked had she been with me. I come to the library to enjoy books and words--- and community. I do not think CNN blaring horrifying images is appropriate as you walk in the door. Please reconsider this decision.
Posted by: Sarah Drumm ( Email ) at 2/16/2010 9:41 PM

We consider the monitors another avenue for providing information, however I do understand your point. We will monitor patron reaction to this new service and reconsider it as needed. I encourage you and your child to try self checkout in the children's room. Most young children love to checkout their own materials and this unit provides that opportunity / experience. Thanks for writing.
Posted by: Ann Rohrbaugh ( Email ) at 2/17/2010 9:01 AM

I find it very sad that you chose to take out the circ desk with 3 help stations, in exchange for one with 2, and 3 self checkouts. Where is the old desk that we could ask for help been relocated? If I want to ask a question, I have to wait in line behind people who are checking out their books, and people who have had problems with the self check outs. Even at Meijer and Walmart they have another person with a computer to help the self checkouts. Poor planning on your part.
Also, you say the new desk area was privately funded, but I would think that in the tough economic times we are facing, your public relations person would have said, this is bad timing, that looks bad to spend all this money so openly right now. Was the money that was given to you specifically for a new check out desk area or was this your choice?
Posted by: Jackie McGee ( Email ) at 3/2/2010 8:45 PM

We are continuing to talk about how and where to provide readers assistance. Currently it is provided from the information desk on the second floor. Your input will help - what was the nature of the question you waited in line to ask? As you point out, the new desks provide five checkout points rather than three. That is helping us respond to the big increase in circulation and most patrons have appreciated it. Our board, like most governing boards, decided this one-time-only gift money should not be used for ongoing costs but rather for purposes that would reduce our ongoing operational costs and help us gain efficiencies. The checkout units and the new desk have done that. We will continue to discuss the best location for readers assistance. Your input as to the type of question you waited to ask will help.
Posted by: Ann Rohrbaugh ( Email ) at 3/5/2010 10:09 AM

sorry it took so long to get back to you. My question was just about my account. I needed to renew my card. I didn't know what was wrong, it just wouldn't let me check out. It would have been nice to have someone else there, so that they could have helped me.
Posted by: Jackie McGee ( Email ) at 3/16/2010 10:42 AM

Thanks for letting me know the nature of your question. It helps us for planning purposes. You are right - card renewal does need to be done at the circ desk. Hopefully those with a routine checkout transaction will increasingly use the checkout kisok so staff at the desk are available to help with card renewal and similar services.
Posted by: Ann Rohrbaugh ( Email ) at 3/16/2010 4:01 PM


I know this is a bit late, but I think the library looks magnificent.
Posted by: window replacement austin ( Email ) at 6/16/2011 3:11 PM

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