“We were able to expand our established service by adding LEID’s fast and easy-to-use electronic locker system.”
Marie Thomas , Head of Circulation, Barrington Area Library, Barrington, Illinois
Barrington Area Library in Barrington, Illinois covers a 72-square-mile area, making it Illinois’ largest library district serving more than 40,000 residents. A 1999 market study revealed to the Barrington staff that the branch was not servicing the majority of residents who lived a far distance from the library because a remote branch was not available. In response to this market data, Marie Thomas, head of circulation services, installed 10 book drops and three lockers at remote locations in 2001 through 2006. In 2008, Thomas needed to expand their delivery service at their newest branch. Unable to purchase an electronic, software-managed locker system from their previous provider, Thomas and her staff continued – with no success – to search for a similar product.
In 2009, Thomas attended the American Library Association’s annual trade show and discovered LEID Product’s Electronic Access Cabinet. It was exactly what she needed for her library system at the newest branch. When she returned home, Thomas contacted LEID to purchase the locker system for her newest branch at South Barrington Club – a full tennis and recreational facility. The electronic locker system was installed in January 2010 with minimal staff training requirements. Barrington Area Library now provides 10 book drop sites and four delivery service locker locations. The lockers vary in sizes from small to large and have up to 40 units. Three sets of lockers are available 24 hours, seven days a week and the fourth locker is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday. To retrieve materials from the electronic lockers, residents easily enter a library-issued code on the key pad located on the locker system. Barrington Area Library soon will be offering an on-line video to demonstrate how to use this new delivery service in seven easy steps.
Thomas is satisfied with the newest electronic locker system. She has seen major changes that include:
an increase in traffic – in the initial weeks after the lockers were installed, 28 out of the 40 new units were being utilized, Circulation is up 30 percent from last year,with business increasing and the lockers needing minimal management, Thomas stretched her budget dollars and has a less congested circulation desk, and increased partnerships within her community.