Librarian woe: remote self-checkout

I coordinate a very small (~1000 volumes) shared library for 100 churches in Chicagoland. Our circulation is dropping with constituents up to 50 miles away. If our checkout system involved a QR code to scan on the back of the book, plus an SMS option for those without smartphones (“Text 1234 to 567890 to check out this book”) I could make the case for just about any geographically distributed layout (i.e. “branches”) since self-checkout could happen anywhere, anytime, with no infrastructure demands on any “branch”.

Have you heard of such a checkout option out there, or a flexible database that would hook into a setup like this?

One thought on “Librarian woe: remote self-checkout

  1. Peter Murray

    Interesting idea! I haven’t heard of anyone trying this, but given the ubiquity of cell phones is certainly sounds like a good option. I’m not convinced that QR-codes have penetrated in sufficiently into common use in North America to have that be the predominant checkout mode, so having the slower-but-more-broadly-usable SMS option makes since.

    I can picture the steps that a developer would use to make this happen with the open source Evergreen or Koha integrated library systems, but I haven’t heard of anyone creating such a capability. I will point some other people to this post to see if the broader community has heard of something like this.


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