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Extended Access is a technology system that provides self-service access to the library outside of staffed open hours at designated locations. It does not replace or reduce staffed hours. Instead, it provides our community more opportunities to use the library when it works best for them. It works similarly to college libraries, 24/7 gyms, co-working lofts, and other shared public spaces. Customers can use their library card to unlock the library. At this time, it is available at the Jordan Library only, but will expand to other Scott County Library locations in the future.
Extended Access empowers customers to use their library when it works best for them. For several years, we've been exploring ways to make our buildings more open to the public, such as after-hours access to meeting rooms. The positive response to meeting rooms inspired us to consider maximizing access to resources like WiFi, computers, and study spaces. We're excited to be more available than ever to early risers, remote workers, technology users, homeschooling families, childcare providers, and others who love using the library.
First, customers sign up to get a membership privilege added to their library card. (More information about signing up is on our website). When they visit outside of staffed hours, members scan their library card barcode and enter their PIN at an entry panel to unlock the door. Once inside, they can freely use in-library resources and self-service equipment such as the self checkout machines, computers, printers, copiers, and study rooms.
Any Scott County Library cardholder ages 16 and older can sign up to use Extended Access. You do not need to be a Scott County resident, but you do need a card registered with us. Teens ages 16 and 17 must have a parent/guardian with them when they sign up.
No, Extended Access is absolutely free for all cardholders who sign up.
Yes, and they assume responsibility for their guests per established library policies and their EA membership agreement.
Maintaining safety and cleanliness is our top priority. Cameras are installed throughout the library to monitor activity. Members are also required to attend an orientation and sign an agreement to acknowledge their responsibilities to keep our staff, other library users, and the facility safe. We have also communicated with local law enforcement police to ensure they're aware of the service in the rare case of an emergency.
We have processes in place to help members report technology issues, space problems, or other concerns. To access the Extended Access Feedback Form, click here or conveniently visit the Extended Access section of the Scott County Library app "Scott Lib MN" (available on iOS and Android).
There won't be librarians on duty during Extended Access hours, but they are available during regular staffed hours to offer the same services you know and love.
Depending on timing, you should be able to use the service within 24 hours of registering. After you turn in your membership agreement, our staff takes a few extra back-end steps to add the privilege to your library card. You will be notified by email when it's turned on.
If you are an Extended Access member who is experiencing access issues with your library card, contact our Technology Team: email@example.com
Yes, we plan to add Extended Access to other Scott County Libraries in the future. We are still determining which library will be next and when. Some of our buildings may need updates to implement Extended Access. At this time, we are surveying each location to identify facility needs and opportunities to improve your experience. This is an exciting time for us and we are grateful for the enthusiastic support of our community. If you have ideas about the future vision of your library, we invite you to get in touch.
You don't have to live in Scott County, but you do need to have a library card registered with Scott County Library. If you have a library card from another Minnesota library, we can add it to our system during your orientation. Make sure to bring an ID so we can ensure your contact details are up to date.
In 2018-2019, we had a great opportunity to commission research about self-service in public libraries through a Countywide partnership with the Resilient Communities Project. Graduate students from the University of Minnesota and St. Kate's Master of Library & Information Science program contacted other libraries, surveyed our community, and applied professional expertise to help us succeed. We are forever grateful to RCP and the student contributors. Their research is openly accessible and linked below.
Study #1: Open Self-Serve Library Feasibility AssessmentCitation: Gunther, Matt. (2019). Open Self-Serve Library Feasibility Assessment. Resilient Communities Project (RCP), University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/206502.
Study #2: Open Libraries Feasibility AssessmentCitation: Bartlett, Chelsea; Bostrom, Molly; Chovan, Eleanor; Eschweiler, Deb; Hoitomt, Krista; Klinesmith, Sarah; Konstan, Ellen; Kenning, Ren; Para, Maggie; Riestenberg, Jennifer; Schmierer, Alee; Walter, Meghan; Wetzel, Shannon. (2019). Open Libraries Feasibility Assessment. Resilient Communities Project (RCP), University of Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/206523