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Self Service and Aberdeen City Libraries
Aberdeen City Libraries are introducing Self Service machines in some of the libraries in the city. There are already 2 units operational in the Adult Lending Library, a unit in the Childrens Library and units available for use in Airyhall Library, Bucksburn Library and Dyce Library. Over the next few months units will also be installed in Bridge of Don, Cove, Mastrick and Tillydrone Community Libraries and Kincorth Customer Access Point.These Self Service units are being installed to ease pressure on staff at busy times and to give them more time to assist borrowers with their reading choices, work on service promotion and other service developments.
The units will allow borrowers to issue and return items, process renewals as required and check their account for outstanding loans and/or charges. Some machines will also accept payments of charges. At the moment payments can only be paid in cash and, depending on the site and the unit in use there, change will also be given.
- Why don't my books appear on screen when I borrow them but do appear on the receipt?
We have upgraded the software which should improve this.
- Why does money fall through the machine?
This was a problem with one of the machines, which has now been resolved .
- Why does the machine time out so quickly, even if I'm still in the middle of something?
We have reset the timeout, to give people longer to finish what they are doing.
- Why did the machine beep at me, and give a 'login failed' message, even though all I did was walk past it?
This is caused by small scratches in the plastic under the barcode reader, which are picked up and 'read' by the scanner. We have covered the scratches, which should improve the situation.
- How can I tell if I have borrowed a book before?
This isn't possible at the moment but a future version of the software at Central Lending will be able to alert you if you have borrowed a title before.
- Why is the print on receipts too light to read?
This has been resolved.
- Is it possible to have the author as well as the title in the list of loans?
This isn't currently possible, but we will pass it back to our supplier as a suggestion for future development. We will be moving to a more modern version of the online catalogue, which will show book jackets in the loan list.
- Can we have written instructions?
There is always a member of staff on hand to help. Please do not be afraid to ask.
- Why do we have to use these machines? I enjoyed the contact with staff when taking out my books. If I use the machines, does that mean staff will lose their jobs?
We have introduced the self service machines as part of the refurbishment and modernisation of Central Lending. There are no plans to reduce library staffing as part of this and there will always be staff on hand in the library to help you. Using the machines frees up staff so that, instead of being behind the desk all the time, they are able to spend time out in the library talking to you, and helping you with enquiries or in choosing books.
- I always lose my receipt. How do I know when my books are due back?
Please try and keep your receipt. If you are concerned you will lose it, try using it as a bookmark. You can check your account any time, either on a self service machine or online, to see when your books are due back.
- How do I know if I owe any money or have books that are due back?
When you have finished borrowing your books, you will be taken to your account, where you can clearly see if there is anything outstanding on your card. When you finish returning your books, you will be asked to scan your card, to get the same information.
- Are the books in the returns slot getting damaged?
No. We have put extra foam in the bottom of the bins to raise the height and protect the books. The bins are emptied regularly to ensure books don't get crushed.
- Why don't the renewal receipts give a due date?
This was a fault which has been resolved.
- Why won't it let me borrow (or return) this book?
There could be a number of reasons, such as the barcode being old and worn. If the machine says your book can't be issued (or returned), please ask a member of staff for help.
- Where am I supposed to put my bag/pile of books etc?
We have moved the machines back on the desks a little, to give you more space.
- Why can't the receipts be optional?
You need a receipt when you borrow or renew items so that you know the date they are due back. Unfortunately, we can't make receipts optional for return only at the moment. We will feed it back to our supplier as a suggestion for future development.
- Central Library
Tel: 01224 652500
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