Providing Library Kiosk Services To The Community
With the advent of machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, libraries are gaining greater ability to be nimble with respect to whom they serve, what services they can provide, and even where they can exist. Remote kiosks present libraries with a unique opportunity to meet patrons where they are and offer automated services to community members in the places they visit the most. Services can include checking out pre-stocked books, delivery of individually requested books, and book returns. While kiosks offer multiple benefits to libraries, patrons, and communities, they also present several key challenges:
- Flexibility: Wired connectivity for kiosks may not be available or easily provisioned in some places, and because kiosks may need to be moved from time to time as community needs change, wired options can’t offer the flexibility to make a kiosk deployment work.
- Cost-effectiveness: Kiosks must be able to operate remotely with reduced staff and financial support. Additionally, running a wired line to a remotely located kiosk may be cost prohibitive.
- Security & reliability: Kiosks must be able to operate with a high level of security to protect patron and library data transmitted to and from the kiosk. It is also critical that the kiosk be available and online 24/7 to let patrons access services whenever they are needed.