Self-checkout launched at library

Jose Beduya, Cornell University Library

A veterinary student tries out the self-checkout kiosk at the Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library.
A veterinary student tries out the self-checkout kiosk at the Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library.

Among several ways patrons can check out books and other materials from Cornell University Library, a new service offers another convenient option: letting them do it on their own, with the Cornell Self-Checkout kiosk and separate app.

The Cornell Self-Checkout app for smartphone or tablet—free to download for Apple or Android devices—along with kiosks at several library locations empower patrons to “choose their own adventure,” said Tobi Hines, head of operations and outreach for Mann Library.

“Our hope for this service is that it becomes yet another option in what I like to think of as our suite of options for library users to customize the library experience that they want to have on any particular day,” Hines said, referring to different ways of requesting library materials, including contactless pickup and deliveries to preferred library locations on campus.

A pilot project, Cornell Self-Checkout is currently only available in the following Cornell University Library locations:

  • Catherwood Library
  • Clarke Africana Library
  • Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library
  • Kroch Asia Collections
  • Law Library
  • Mann Library
  • Mathematics Library
  • Olin Library
  • Uris Library

A Cornell Self-Checkout kiosk is located in an easy-to-access spot in each of these libraries—with the exception of Catherwood Library, which only uses the app.

Alternatively, the Cornell Self-Checkout app enables patrons to scan and check out their books from any area within the library spaces listed above. (The app will not work in libraries not part of the pilot, namely Adelson Library, the Music Library, and the Mui Ho Fine Arts Library.)

“Somebody could take a book to our upstairs reading area, and if they want to go out of the library to the atrium on that floor, they can check the book out with the app instead of having to walk back downstairs to the circulation desk,” said Chris Dunham, access services and administrative manager for the Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library.

“I think we’re meeting users where they are and letting them choose how they want to interact with the library and access our collections,” Hines said. “We’re all very familiar with this concept of self-checkout, and it’s exciting to be able to bring this to the Cornell community as well.”

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