We’ve made a number of changes at the Central Library this year, some of which include the way we do business. Two of these big changes are the move to self-service holds and self-service checkout.
Here are some FAQs to help explain why we’ve made these changes, and how they will affect Library users.
How do you keep patrons from checking out other people’s holds?
Our computer system will only allow holds to be checked-out to the Library accounts with which they were placed. This means that in order to check out your holds using the self-service machines, you will have to have your Library card.
Can I check out holds for my wife, child or boyfriend?
Yes, but only if you have that person’s Library card.
What do I do if I can’t find my Library card?
You can get a replacement card for $2 at any Library location.
If I know my Library card number, can I type it in by hand at the self-serve checkout terminals?
Why did Central make the change to self-service holds?
Self-service holds have become standard in the Arlington Library branches over the last 3 years, starting with the new Shirlington Branch in 2007. We started moving to self-serve because it’s more efficient and reduces patron wait time for check-out. Self-service is also a growing trend in libraries across the country, and many of our patrons requested it.
Why is Central changing to self-service checkout?
Self Service checkout is a growing trend in library systems across the country, because it allows staff to focus on multiple areas of Library business. Self-service checkout has been in place since the openings of the new Shirlington branch (2007), the Plaza branch (2007) and the new Westover branch (2009).
How do I pay my fines? Does this mean that there will be no staff at Central Circulation to help me?
Absolutely not – along with 6 self-checkout terminals, we have one staffed terminal for paying fines, issuing and renewing Library cards, and other customer service issues.
How does self-service affect Library staff? Will jobs be cut?
These changes do not affect Library staff levels. But utilizing self-service does allow our staff to get more work done.
Are all the Library locations going to get self-service checkout?
Three other locations already offer this service: Plaza, Shirlington and Westover branches. We plan to expand this service to Aurora Hills, Cherrydale, and Columbia Pike in the coming months.