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More city libraries to go self service

SELF-SERVICE public libraries will be rolled out to 17 libraries across Dublin city within the coming months.

Serving over half a million people, the country's largest library authority, Dublin City Council is putting the self-service machines in place over the coming months.

The machines are already in place on a trial basis in five locations and are a big hit with kids and older people, a spokesperson from the Dublin City Council told the Herald.

After the success in locations including the Central Library in the Ilac Centre and in Ballyfermot, the system is due to be expanded.

The Central Library, located on the first floor of the Ilac Centre, is the keystone in the Dublin system.

It means that readers can check their own books in and out their and even pay their own fines if their items are overdue.

The machines will recognise your ID using a radio frequency system, so you can check DVDs and CDs in and out without damaging any tracks.

The council have submitted a tender for the machines and said: "We now plan to expand self-service to the remaining libraries in our branch network."

Dolphin's Barn, Walkinstown and Coolock are just some of the libraries getting ready for self-service.

But Paul Fusco from Dublin City Council explained that the move isn't aimed at cutting staff.

"We're not going down the road of having low staff in libraries, it's nothing to do with staff-less libraries," he said.

TRANSACTIONS

The roll-out is to have the opposite effect in fact. With more machines in place to carry-out easy transactions the current staff of Dublin City public libraries can give more time to the customers.

"The machines will complement the service already there and it will free up staff to talk to people and spend more one-to-one time with them," explained Mr Fusco.

No extra staff is brought into the libraries for events like bookclubs and readathons.

In 2010 the machines were introduced in the libraries in Pembroke, Rathmines and Raheny and there were reservations as to the uptake of them with various age groups.

hnews@herald.ie


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