SPARKS — First came the drive-through burger joints. Then, people bagged their own groceries. Wedding bells followed.
And now — it’s books.
Washoe County Library patrons can now do most anything on their own, including checking out up to 16 items, download an electronic book to their i-whatnot, search for jobs, social network, and check the library shelves without having to look for those Dewey Decimals. Most importantly, they can do it all themselves. — even secretly check how much they owe in fines.
Library Director Arnie Maurins unveiled the systems cost-effective new do-it-yourself system Thursday at the Spanish Springs branch.
“This technology project is the silver lining to our budget reductions,” Maurins said. “By shifting our technology infrastructure to open-port options, we’re better able to leverage the resources we do have.”
The system is realizing a $75,000 cost savings by using self-serve kiosks, he said. They’ve also added more public computers and increased e-book and downloadable audiobooks.
KOHA is the library’s new Open Source catalog system to include an RSS feed for new materials. Linux and Qimo computers will make it possible for the library to repurpose older computers. Eighty new Internet stations will be available.
The self-service kiosks will help the library save 90 percent of costs compared to alternative systems. A total of 22 will be rolled out this year. The kiosks were created in-house, said creator Todd Goatley.
“It’s a great system and it’s free,” Goatley said.
Downloadable stations are available for patrons to load the more than 7,000 audio and ebook titles the library system offers.