Prior to the flood of 2008, the Cedar Rapids Public Library had established self-check systems in place. The flood waters destroyed these machines and since that time the library has handled all check-outs personally. Late this month, the new self-check system will be installed at the CRPL West. This picture shows you one of the new stations waiting for the equipment to arrive. This system will be a new Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) which will allow you to toss all your materials onto the RFID pad and all items will automatically check out–no scanning needed!
This is one of a series of changes happening at the CRPL West during the next few months. There will be a shift in the way the staff works with patrons, including removing the large circulation desk you see in the picture below and replacing it with two smaller service stations. Holds will be moved to a new self-serve shelf, so customers will be able to find their holds on their own. The current desk will move to the other side of the library and become a lap-top station, perfect for anyone who wants to take advantage of the library’s free wifi.
Changes will continue at the library until the installation of a new automated check-in system in February of 2011. This system will allow the library to get materials (books, cds, dvds) back on the shelf more quickly. We will have a larger version of this type of system in the new downtown library when it opens.