Library Tip: Self checkout

I don’t often use the self-checkout machines at the library (because I usually have a few items on hold), but I always make an effort to show fellow patrons how to use the machines.

In these days of budget cuts, we’re going to be seeing a lot less programming from library staff.  While that might not be the most important thing, I do think that using the self-checkout machines wherever possible allows library staff to help people with questions (rather than just scanning books).

Here’s how to use the self-checkout machines:

Step 1.  Have excellent taste in books! 

Just kidding — but you can only take out regular books (no CDs, DVDs, or magazines) with the self-service machine.  From left to right, I’m taking out The Real Wizard of Oz, the new Colin Cotterill novel, and Emma.

Step 2a.  Approach the self-checkout machine.

Step 2b.  You’ve got to get closer than that – they don’t bite!  Touch the screen to start your transaction.

Step 3.  After touching the screen, the machine will prompt you to scan your library card.  Take your finger off the screen and take your library card out of your wallet.

Step 4. Put your card, barcode-up, under the black scanner on the left.

(Caveat: sometimes you have to move your card around a little bit.  I find that halfway between the scanner and the base works best.)

Step 5.  The machine will now be on its second step, and will tell you to pass your books over the reader (that is, the black base) one at a time. 

The machine is a fool.  You can just stack your books right on the reader.

Then again…

…doing that only got two of my three books scanned!

Try placing the Cotterill in a few different spots.  Worry that you’re going to have to re-take all the photos for this blog post to make the process seem smooth.

Step 6.  Confirm that all your books are successfully scanned.  When they are, press the Done button.

Step 7.  Your receipt will print out.

Step 8.  Don’t forget to grab it!

And don’t forget to use the self-checkout machines!

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