Ignored self- service kiosks ‘ could be removed’ from some libraries
SELF- SERVICE kiosks could be removed from some smaller libraries in Solihull, with a recent review suggesting that visitors preferred to deal with a person at certain sites.
Similar technology has become increasingly common in supermarkets and other retailers, but council officers admit that there are several library branches where the scanners are rarely used.
The cabinet meeting for leisure, tourism and sport was advised that some visitors appreciated the interaction with staff members and if the kiosks were being overlooked it made sense to free up the space for something else.
The technology had previously encountered some resistance when it was installed in libraries such as Knowle almost a decade ago, with some visitors at the time arguing that a machine was no replacement for a person.
Councillor Laura McCarthy ( Lib Dem, Elmdon), a regular visitor to Hobs Moat Library, said: “My concern is that if you get rid of the kiosk – just based on footfall – are you going to be creating a lot more work for the librarian?”
She was assured that the system would remain in place in branches where it was saving customers from waiting, but the local authority had identified “less than half a dozen sites” where the kiosks were being largely ignored. A decision is due to be taken by the cabinet member, Coun Joe Tildesley, at a later date, along with various other recommendations for library services. These include axing the mobile library service from next year – with money being redirected to the home library set- up – and considering changes to branch opening hours. Coun Cheryl Buxton- Sait ( Green, Castle Bromwich) said: “When you see the word reshaping, you think ‘ is that just another word for cuts?’”
Officers insisted that the intention wasn’t to close services.
Hobs Moat Library