CONTACT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Georgia H. Whalen March 30, 2011
Detroit, MI - In early March, Auburn Hills, MI-based LEID Products, LLC installed an expansion to the Carver County (Minn.) Library and Washington County (Minn.) Library’s pilot program called the “Library Express”. The Library Express was launched in July 2010 as a pilot program to bring services to communities such as Hugo and Victoria, which do not have a full service library. The first of its kind in Minnesota, the Library Express is an innovative and cost-effective way to expand access to library services.
Library patrons order materials on line or through LEID Products high-tech self-service computer kiosk called the ‘iLibrary’, then pick up reserved library materials 24/7
through the LEID’s electronic locker system. Patrons use their library card number to reserve materials to be picked up at the Library Express location. The patron receives an email with access code when their materials are available for pick up. Returns can be made to a convenient book drop.
Carver County Library and Washington County Library cooperated to apply for a Federal Grant to fund the project. Carver County added a second Library Express location at the Cologne Community Center. Operating since early March, Cynthia Lowe, Circulation Supervisor, commented on patron feedback, “All the comments have been positive. People love it.” Carver County’s first Library Express location is inside the Victoria Recreation Center, an ice hockey arena.
According to Melissa Brechon, Director of Carver County Library, “We want the Cologne and Victoria Express Library to be a useful, convenient and easy experience for patrons; one they will want to use many times over. Judging by the demand, repeat users and positive patron feedback, the goal of the program to increase library visibility and access has been exceeded.” In Victoria to date, more than 2,500 items have been delivered to the “Library Express” electronic lockers, an average of 22 library items each day, and on occasion demand exceeds system capacity.
Washington County Library doubled the electronic lockers available at the Hugo City Hall location to 40 for their Library Express pick-up. The original system had 20 lockers which proved to be not enough capacity for the high demand in this growing community.
Washington County Library Director, Patricia Conley said, “We are delighted with the system, it is most appropriate for active suburban commuter communities. We see people stopping by the Library
Express to pick up their books right along with the rest of their daily errands. It’s a fast process and will only take a few minutes to pick up and return the items they have put on hold.”
The new concept of self-service library locations with a library kiosk and electronic lockers was highlighted last fall in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article. LEID Products iLibrary Kiosk and the Carver County and Washington County Libraries were featured in The November/December issue of the American Libraries Association Magazine in their Solutions and Services section; “Kiosk-Convenience” case study written by Katie Bane. With public libraries facing budget cuts at the same time the demand for services is increasing due to cost conscious families focused on saving money while still trying to keep family members enriched and entertained. Making library materials more accessible to all patrons has become a top priority for public libraries.
Tags: Carver County Library, electronic locker system, electronic lockers, Express Library, iLibrary, iLibrary kiosk, LEID Products, library Express, victoria express library, Washington County Library