The Jefferson County Library will install self-checkout stations at the Arnold, Northwest and Windsor Branches next month in an effort to control costs, according to library director Pam Klipsch.
The new stations should be ready to use on November 18.
“Self-check will provide a fast and easy checkout alternative for our customers with routine transactions," Klipsch said in a statement. "This will allow our staff to give more attention to customers with more complicated questions. People today lead very busy lives so convenience is important to them.”
Klipsch said the library is trying to control costs in difficult economic times.
“We’ve lost about 33% of our circulation staff through attrition over the last five years,” he said.
Klipsch said the library cannot afford to refill the positions, and has to find ways to deploy its remaining staff to the best possible advantage.
“Self-check will help us maintain the high standard of personal service we pride ourselves on providing to our community,” she said.
Self-check also will help reduce the physical toll of the job on staff. “Most people have no idea just how physically demanding it is to work the public service desk in a library,” Klipsch said. “Repetitive stress injuries are a real concern for us.”
The equipment for the self checkout system was purchased for $73,198 from Bibliotheca-ITG, with $35,000 of the cost underwritten by a federal Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services, administered through the Missouri State Library.