Enhanced Self-service at the University Library
Following the successful launch of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology at the Course Reserve Collection and the Self-service Hold Shelf, we have stepped up our effort in enhancing the self-service experience provided to library users at the University Library. In the summer of 2016, we transformed the traditional Circulation Counter into a user-oriented area equipped with intuitive self-service facilities to allow for a much faster and more efficient way of borrowing and returning books. Not only does it mean less queueing, but it also frees up library staff time from routine transactions to answering queries from users and providing help where it is most needed.
Self-service Borrow and Return at the New Self-service Area
In the new self-service area, more space is freed up to library users. There are self-check kiosks and wall-mounted book return slots, both enabled by RFID technology, for borrowing and returning books as well as instantly updating users’ circulation records. There is also an RFID enabled automated book sorter behind the return slots. The sorter, on the one hand, shortens the book sorting process which means that books will be returned to the shelves more quickly, and on the other hand, increases the occupational safety of library staff. Also in the self-service area are computer terminals for checking “My Library Record”, setting up library passwords, making online application for library cards and other purposes. There is a staffed Help Desk offering assistance to users and overseeing the library entrance and exit.
New Additions are now situated near the self-service area to become more visible to library users.
With the self-service facilities taking up the majority of the routine book transactions, the Service Counter, which was previously called the Circulation Counter, has a new location which is just opposite the User Education Rooms on the ground floor. Users can continue to checkout and return items requested through HKALL and Interlibrary Loan service, Course Reserve (teaching staff’s personal copies), accompanying materials, as well as other closed stack materials. The Service Counter will continue to handle payment of fines and fees, library card applications and other services.