We here at SWON have recently had the opportunity to visit two of Dayton Metro Library’s newest projects – the recently renovated Miami Township branch for our Spring Membership Meeting last month, and the brand new Northwest branch, in preparation for next week’s Staff Training Symposium, The Innovators Next Door. And for Dayton Metro, innovation is where it’s at.
Pictured above is Northwest’s window on their automated returns system -- a critical part of their 24-hour availability -- which also includes a “holds locker” housed in a lobby that never closes. I had a chance to see the returns system in action at the Miami Township branch, and I was amazed to see a system of conveyer belts and RFID scanners that not only checked the books back in, but actually sorted them into bins based on whether they were print materials, AV materials, on hold at another branch, and so on.
Meanwhile, the 24-hour holds locker allows the library to be open for patrons 24/7/365. Holds are placed in the secured locker and at any time of day, the patron may enter their library card information and have their reserved book vended and checked out to them.
Both branches feature spacious lobbies with separately-lockable interior and exterior doors that make this customer-service-friendly innovation possible. Sometimes it is easy to get distracted by the shiny technology, but being ready for the next big thing also requires designing your buildings for the next big thing.
That’s where SWON is here to help.
We are looking to launch a new special interest group for those of you who are renovating, updating, and building new libraries. Making changes to a library or constructing a new one poses many unique challenges, but there are those in the area who have the benefit of experience and can share that knowledge with you. It also provides our members a chance to swap info on techniques, supplies, and vendors.
This is your chance to get in on the ground floor. If you are interested in participating in a library construction and renovation special interest group in any capacity (we’re looking for participants, leaders, vendors, presenters) please contact Melanie via email or at (513) 751-4422 for more information and get your building ready for the next big thing.