Scott County Libraries serve residents in a variety of ways: offering a diverse collection of physical and digital resources, meeting spaces for local groups, classes for adults, youth literacy programs, and WiFi-equipped public workspaces, to name a few. However, we are aware that access to those services is often limited by library hours. Over the past few years, we have been researching a relatively new concept known as "Open Libraries," which uses technology to overcome limitations to library access.
What are "Open Libraries?"
Open Libraries - also known as "self-serve libraries" - leverage self-service technology to provide unstaffed access to library facilities as a supplement to staffed open hours. Customers familiar with accessing self-service fitness centers, or using self-checkout stations in stores, might find this model appealing and convenient.
This model would allow Scott County customers to more freely access library space and materials in a variety of ways!
How It Would Work
Essentially, residents could use their library cards as keys to the library before and after staffed open hours. Residents insert their own library card into a reader at the entrance, enter a pin, and gain access to library buildings and resources. Checkouts would be completed on our self-check machines. Click here for a short video demonstration of how it might work.
There is much we still need to discuss with Scott County residents and with our city partners before implementing. We want to thoughtfully consider which branches are best suited for this model, who gets access, how will we mitigate safety and security risks, and more. However, we are excited to begin the conversation, and to explore this opportunity to make our libraries more accessible to everyone.
We Want to Hear From You!
Thank you to all who completed our Inquiry Survey from April 29 - May 10, 2019! We will use the results of the survey to inform future planning around Open Libraries. There will be future opportunities for community engagement - stay tuned.