As you’ll see throughout this article, smart lockers are changing the way people use their local libraries and making life much easier at universities. Easier on both sides of the desk- library clerks and locker users alike.
Making Reservations and Pick-ups Simpler in the Library
Libraries have been working under the same routines for decades relating to taking in, signing out, and managing the whereabouts of their books. Computers eventually changed the way these routines were tracked, but overall didn’t change the actual routines for the better.
In comes smart locker technology.
Smart lockers have indeed changed the way things work between library clerks and those who have use for libraries. Whether the users are students or users of a public library, smart lockers have been responsible for making book reservations and pick-ups much easier.
Retrieval of Reserved Books
When someone reserves a book, a clerk will place it in a locker to be picked up by the person who reserved it. Now, in the past, it was easy for a person who has made a book reservation to forget about it, particularly if they had a busy lifestyle, and had to wait for a good deal of time.
With the use of smart lockers, it’s a lot more difficult to forget about a reservation. The moment that a reserved book makes its way back to the library, it is then placed into a locker that is then designated to the reservee. Simultaneously, a text message is auto-generated and sent to the reserve, alerting the person that the book is ready to be picked up.
Library Book Lockers Make Things Easier
Library lockers make things easier. That might be a ham-fisted statement, but it’s true nonetheless. Especially when it comes to clerks trying to keep track of books.
As books pass through the locker they are tracked. Clerks know when a book is placed in a locker for pickup and will know that they’re back as soon as they return. Library smart lockers will also be able to document when a returned book was removed from a locker, to be returned to its place on the shelf, making it quick work to check for rental availability in the future.
Smart Lockers are a Better Utilization of Space
Depending on how the library is situated in its building, be it a stand-alone public library building or a library attached to a greater structure like a wing of a university or High School, smart lockers can be placed outside of the internal space of the library.
There are all kinds of ways lockers can reduce space usage. In some circumstances, the customer face of the locker is outside the library walls but the inside is accessible from within the library building. This has worked out well for libraries that are attached to a greater structure- the structure where their traffic comes from (schools).
Another approach is to have the lockers completely outside of the library building. Out front somewhere convenient, where people can walk up and grab their book or return their book inside the library book locker without having to go inside at all.
Some libraries have taken it to a new level, placing their lockers completely off the property, located somewhere that might be more convenient to a greater user base. Other public buildings are a popular choice when this happens. Police or fire stations are popular choices to place a smart locker for easier book retrievals or drop-offs, as it may be closer and more convenient to users.
After Hours Book Access
One thing that can’t go unsaid, is the convenience library pickup lockers brings to those who are working during library business hours. This is also true for busy students that have to set new land-speed records trying to get to the library to pick up their books before close or in between classes.
24/7 Convenient Access is Possible with Smart Lockers
When library holds lockers are positioned outside of the library, users are not bound by the library’s hours of operation. Users can come and retrieve their books at their convenience, rather than trying to beat the clock or try to arrange their day around library hours.
University library lockers are invaluable to students who have schoolwork to deal with, and in many cases, work as well. The ease of showing up at any hour of the day to pick up books being held in a locker becomes a major stress relief to those who are busy preparing for their future.
Smart Lockers are a Solution to How Public Libraries Respond to Growing Populations
Populations rarely decrease, they tend to do just the opposite. Sometimes population booms in areas for one reason or another. Smart lockers are a surefire strategy against the rise of demand from a growing population.
It has been found that people prefer to use the lockers rather than wait in line to deal with the clerks at the desk. Lockers help to thin the line at the desk, allowing traffic to flow more easily and quickly.
Built-in Safety Measures
As populations grow, so does the risk of germ-spread disease. The answer to this problem is library touchless lockers. These have the technology in place to allow a user to get their books without having to even touch the info pad or the locker handles.
The user-friendly screens will direct a user on how they can access their locker, and when this is complete, the locker automatically opens without the user having to touch the door. This transpires differently from locker manufacturer to manufacturer, but all touchless locker systems share the same goal- to remove or lessen the possibility of the spread of disease.
The more time passes, the more these smart lockers are becoming the rule, rather the exception. It is conceivable that one day, they will be just as much of a staple to a library as the dewy decimal system.