Local libraries add electronic lockers

Video courtesy of WCTV, Rebekah Vaughan

Have you ever finished a book on a Friday afternoon and can’t make it to the library before closing time for a new one? Local libraries in Greene County are taking the steps to curb those problems one book at a time.

While students at Waynesburg University were away for winter break, the Eva K. Bowlby library introduced new electronic lockers.

“Our Smiota brand lockers are computerized lockers that allow patrons to pick up items outside of our normal operating hours, or if they’re not comfortable coming in the building,”

Andrew Novak, Eva K. Bowlby Library circulation assistant, said. “Patrons just need to have an item on hold, give us a call, and we’ll put them in the locker and they can pick them up at the earliest convenience.”

The addition of the new lockers was thanks to a grant received by libraries in the area.

“We got this grant, it was written for both our library and Flenniken. We both received a bank of these computerized lockers.” Novak said. “Most of the other libraries in our system do have lockers but they’re just regular 5 combination lockers. We have the smart lockers because we’re bigger here in Waynesburg so we figured it was a better investment to have the smarter system and get more integrated with the new technology.”

To use the lockers, patrons need first to call the library to sign up. Then they will be given a qr code or a 5-digit number to access the lockers containing their item.

“It’s any time of the day. They can get it morning, noon, or night. Even whenever we’re closed,” Novak said.

There is a three-day expiration date on the lockers from the time items are requested to protect items that are placed inside. And the lockers aren’t just limited to book rentals. Anything that can be requested from the library can be requested through the lockers.

Most everything can be placed in the lockers,” Novak said. “There’s three different sizes up there so anything can fit, it’s just a matter of what people put on request.”

For more information on these new electronic lockers, visit the library’s Facebook page.