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posted: 6/5/2012 11:31 AM

Mount Prospect library launches new checkout system

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Submitted by Mount Prospect Public Library

Express Checkout, a new, timesaving option for checking out library materials was rolled out earlier this month at the Mount Prospect Public Library and early reviews indicate patrons are finding the do-it-yourself technology easy and convenient to use.

"It was really fast; it took maybe 30 seconds to check out my books," said Sweety Patel, a Mount Prospect resident, who used the new checkout system for the first time during a recent visit to the library. "It's easy because you don't have to scan the items one by one. It allows you to scan a whole stack at once."

"People love it, they really love it," said Kathy Murray, head of Circulation Services. "We're discovering that patrons are eager to try it out and seem comfortable choosing Express Checkout because they are familiar with other self checkout systems such as at the grocery store."

There are three Express Checkout computer stations in the library. One station is located in Youth next to the duck bench. The other two stations are located in the Registration Desk lobby. For the next several months, library staff will assist patrons at the three stations answering questions about the new technology and helping them get started in using the system. There are also posters and fliers available with a step-by-step guide.

By following a series of on-screen prompts, the fingertip technology allows patrons to check out a majority of the MPPL's collection including books, DVDs, and most CDs. Mount Prospect resident Laura Kremer and her 5-year-old daughter, Kate, discovered the new checkout system after spending time selecting items to take home from Youth. Armed with a stack of children's books and videos, they cautiously approached the Express Checkout station. They began by scanning their library card.

"Wow the on-screen prompts really are easy to follow and make it simple to use" said Kramer, who frequently visits the library with her two young children. "I love that it does a whole stack at once."

After the items were scanned, her daughter Kate assisted with printing a receipt and unlocking the video cases before dropping each item into a canvas tote bag.

As they finished, Kremer added jokingly, "In the words of my kids 'that was easy peasy.'"

Express Checkout also enables visitors to access information about their library accounts and conveniently pay fees and fines using credit or debit cards. Larger items such as art prints and any library material with a locking system still need to be checked out at the main Circulation Desk, which Murray emphasizes remains fully staffed and ready to provide service.

"Express Checkout is the perfect alternative for patrons who come in to grab one book or to pick up a movie but they are in a hurry," Murray says. "They may not have time to wait in line at the Circulation Desk so now with Express Checkout they have another option which they can easily take advantage of and gets them moving on their way."

With a collection of approximately 497,000 items, and annual circulation of one million, Mount Prospect Public Library supports residents as they explore their interests. Its friendly, professional staff serves 59,000 registered cardholders through a wide range of services, programs, and materials designed to meet the personal needs of every member of the community.