« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Andrea Domaskin, Published January 14 2008

Library adds self-checkout systems

After 18 months, many users of Fargo’s north library branch are comfortable with the self-checkout system.

Now patrons of the new Dr. James Carlson library in south Fargo are jumping on board.

The library at 2801 32nd Ave. S. opened Nov. 16 with the same radio frequency identification technology as the branch in the Northport Shopping Center.

“The longer we’ve been open, the more people have been realizing it’s here,” Amanda Bremmon, a library employee working behind the Carlson library circulation desk, said last week.

RFID is a system that gives the Fargo Public Library system better control of its inventory. It also allows library users to check out books and other items without going to the circulation desk.

“I think right now we’re in the process of just educating the public,” said Melisa Duncan, a community relations specialist at the library.

She plans to put up signs this week that call more attention to library’s two self-check out stands.

More people are coming to the new library.

In December 2006, the Southpointe branch – the Carlson predecessor – saw 9,229 people walk through the doors and circulated nearly 13,973 items.

Last month the Carlson library recorded 14,247 visits and circulated 26,046 items.

“We have a whole new group of folks that have found us, that aren’t familiar with our services, with what we offer,” Duncan said.

To use the express check-out, library patrons set their card under a scanner and place up to five books or other items on the reader. Then a computer prints out a receipt and they’re on their way.

Sally Wiley, who checked out 10 items on a recent trip to the library, said she likes the system because it’s quick and easy.

Daughter Dayna, 4, is a fan, too, even though she also likes talking to the librarians, Wiley said.

“She likes it because she likes to do it herself,” she said after lifting the little girl to press a button on the check-out stand.

Greg Donovan, using the self-check Tuesday for the second time, said he will probably use the method exclusively because it’s easy to use.

The new main library under construction will also use RFID. The system for all three libraries cost about $298,000, Duncan said.

Moorhead’s public library has offered self check-out since about 2001, said Anne Fredine, the library director.

The system isn’t RFID, though works similarly, she said.

“We’ll think about that when we get a new building,” she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556 Library adds self-checkout systems Andrea Domaskin 20080114