Indy Library Offers New Self-Check Tech Option

August 05, 2013

The Indianapolis Public Library has incorporated updated technology to give patrons an easier way to check out materials. Recent upgrades allow patrons to use smartphone apps at the Library's 57 self-check stations, where they can scan in their library card number directly from their phone or tablet for a faster and more convenient checkout process.

A number of new smartphone apps, such as CardStar and Keyring, let individuals integrate and store information from retailers, pharmacies, and even libraries. After downloading an app, patrons can store their library barcode number in the app and tag it to the Indy Library. Such products are available on the iPhone, as well as Android, BlackBerry and Windows smartphones. The added benefit is that these apps eliminate the need to carry multiple loyalty cards on one's keychain or in a wallet.

"This is an example of how the Library continues to evolve to meet patrons where they are today in their lives," said Debra Champ, the Indy Library's Director of Information Technology. "It's not only a service that many of our patrons appreciate, but one that keeps the Library relevant in terms of the range of information services that can now be accessed."

In a more mobile world, the Library strives to be out in front in adapting existing services to accommodate mobile users. The IndyPL Mobile site (http://www.imcpl.org/m/) allows patrons to access the Library's catalog of materials, request and renew items, manage their accounts, search for Library locations and check upcoming Library events. The site also allows users to offer feedback to help the Library improve its services.

With the soaring popularity of eBooks, the Indy Library's eBook Tinker Stations offer help for patrons on how to use their mobile devices and eReaders to download from the Library's growing collection of free downloadable materials. Through the first half of 2013, the Library circulated over 227-thousand eBooks compared to over 160-thousand during the same period in 2012. The eBook Tinker Stations, staff by Library experts, are free to attend.