The addition of self-service computers has helped a great deal in speeding up check-out at the Ridgefield Library. Far fewer people now need to stand in line for routine transactions, allowing circulation staff to devote their attention to those who need special attention. The self-serve option has been especially helpful because the number of items borrowed has risen 5.8% since the first unit was installed in June 2008, to over 36,000 items per month.
Of course, everything (almost!) that goes out of the Library comes back eventually. We are now looking at making some changes to facilitate the returns process as well. Effective immediately, patrons are encouraged to return almost all items through the outside book return slot near the main entrance – including media such as DVDs. This slot empties into a special room at the back of the circulation area, allowing us to process items more efficiently, without getting in the way of other activities at the desk.
Certain materials will still need to be brought to the circulation desk, such as items you want to renew and for which you wish to pay fines. But for most things, just use the outside drop, which is open 24/7.