AWEN Cultural Trust has invested in new self-service machines at Aberkenfig, Maesteg, Pencoed, Porthcawl and Pyle libraries to help keep book borrowers safe during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
The self-service technology, which has been successfully used in Bridgend library for several years, enables customers to borrow, renew and return their books, freeing up library staff to focus on customers who need more help and support during their visit, and give them more time to plan and deliver activities.
For customers who want a quick and completely contact-free visit, the new technology will also allow them to check their library loans in and out, by using their smart phone as a personal scanner and following the simple on-screen instructions.
Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, the registered charity which runs the library service in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council, said:
“Our libraries are no longer transactional places, where books are simply borrowed and returned, they are vibrant community spaces, where the staff enjoy the interaction and individual support they can provide customers during their visit.
“By introducing this new technology in more of our libraries, our staff can spend more time away from the desk, providing an even better customer service and experience, especially to those people who have missed this interaction most during the lockdown.
“By helping our customers to manage their own transactions, they can speed up the check-out process and also keep it as contact-free as they would like. However, our library staff will remain on hand to help those who prefer the traditional service.”