Friday, May 20, 2011
HedbergLibrarian Sets Greg Peck Straight
Do you use self-service checkout counters?. (Janesville Gazette, "Opinions Matter" column, 5/17/2011)
Excerpt: I stopped in at Hedberg on Monday and noticed that the checkout counter had been reduced in size. Two clerks remained, but one told me how, with the new arrangement, I could find the requested book on nearby shelves myself. The books are placed in order based on your last name and last four digits in your library card number.
She did help me find it, then asked me if I wanted to use a self-service checkout desk or have her help me.
“I’ll keep you employed,” I said, and I was glad she chuckled a bit at my comment.
That’s the thing—the more that customers use self-service checkouts at places such as Hedberg and grocery stores, the fewer employees they need. That might help hold down tax expenses at the library and prices at the grocery stores, but I don’t like to use them.
HedbergLibrarian comment on Beck's column: For the record, no jobs were lost when the library added our one additional self-check station. We've offered self-check for several years, but did recently upgrade to much friendlier technology, which more than 80% of our patrons now choose to use (no more waiting in lines to check out DVDs!) Our Full Service Checkout station continues to offer face-to-face, personalized service for those that prefer it. The new technology simply allows us to meet the growing needs of our patrons while freeing up staff to do other important, service-focused jobs like planning programs, getting items back on shelves and assisting patrons in finding materials.