Waynesville library now has self check-out optionGrant will upgrade Canton branch, too
Visitors to the Waynesville branch of the Haywood County library system will no longer stand in line to check out books or other library materials.
Thanks to a library technology grant, patrons will be able to use a self check-out system available on both floors.
The stations are equipped with video instructions on how to use the device, and patrons who have tried it so far find them easy to use.
“It’s a piece of cake,” said user Clairssa Kuehn during a recent library visit.
The self check-out system works in conjunction with security panels located at all four of the library’s exits. Those who try to leave with material that hasn’t been checked out will set off an alarm.
The system was installed as part of a $99,000 federal grant administered by the state that was offered to libraries, said Kim Garmon, the assistant library director. The grant covered all but a small portion of the cost, which was picked up by the foundation, she added.
Theft hasn’t been a major problem for the library, she said, but the new system was eyed as a way to better manage and keep better inventory of materials within the building.
“We had to literally touch every single item in the library and attach an RFID radio identification tag,” she said. “It was very time consuming.”
The RFID sticker is similar to those used in many retail stores, she added.
The sticker was attached not only to all books, but on the tapes, CDs, DVDs and many magazines.
Library personnel been working since January to get the program operational, she said. The next phase of the grant will implement the same system at the Canton branch. While check-out units will be installed at the smaller branches such as Maggie Valley, Garmon said it was decided there was no need to install the security panels since patrons had to exit right in front of the librarian.
The goal is to get 30 percent of the patrons to use the self check-out system, which will free librarians to do other work, Garmon added.
The library has also become part of a consortium with 21 counties and two municipalities in the state called NC
This means that Haywood County library users have access to 23 million library items at 68 locations in the state. To access the collection, patrons can request the item through their home library, and it will be shipped to their home free of charge.