Winnetka- Northfield library launches self-checkout
Updated: December 6, 2012 1:50PM
When the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District launched their smartphone application a few months ago the goal was to someday let users self-checkout books using their mobile devices.
That day is finally here as both library buildings have completed their soft launches and users with smartphones can use the library’s app and their phone’s camera to scan and checkout their materials.
“We are very excited to offer the convenience of mobile checkout to our customers,” said Reference Librarian Jill Brasseur. “Our mobile app is a new way to connect our customers to the excellent resources we have to offer.”
The library’s community survey/strategic plan specifically addresses the resident’s wishes for mobile technology in the library. Results of the survey showed patrons wanted the library to be current technologically, offer access to new technology and provide technology training.
To assist users with the new checkout option the library is continuing their APP-ternoon sessions where library patrons can receive free training about the app or their e-reader devices from library staff.
APP-ternoons take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday at the Northfield branch, 1785 Orchard Lane, and are hosted monthly at the Winnetka branch, 768 Oak St. The next APP-ternoon session at the Winnetka branch will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday Dec. 14.
“We were very excited for our users to be able to check out an item from anywhere in the library with a quick scan,” said Marketing and PR Manager Erin Maassen.
Under the “Book Check” title of the Winnekta-Northfield Library app, patrons can use their cell phone camera to scan a bar code on the cover of the book to begin the checkout process.
“It will prompt you, once you’ve scanned the library book’s bar code, to enter your library card number,” Maassen said. “You will need a smartphone and a library card for self-checkout.”
Users of the app can also renew materials through their phones. A feature called “Book Look” will allow users of the app to scan the bar code of a book at a book shop or other location and see if the Winnetka-Northfield Library has the item available.
“You can immediately put a hold on it if we do,” Maassen said. “Self-checkout has become a large trend in libraries and stores and we wanted to offer self-checkout to our patrons. This seemed like the easiest, most cost-effective and best way to offer that service to our library users.” ~.