Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Will Brooklyn Public Library's Self-Checkout Machines Work Better Than CVS's?

New self-checkout machine at Brooklyn Heights branch library.  Photo by MK Metz
Self-checkout machines are spreading to more Brooklyn libraries, according to the Brooklyn Eagle, and we wonder if they will work better than the self-checkout machines at CVS in Brooklyn Heights, which are mocked far and wide as representations of a dysfunctional future dystopia.

The library is touting self-checkout "as part of a new model of public service," and says no clerks or librarians will be laid off. They will instead spread the joy of literature and learning amongst the patrons.

Just like the MTA said no token clerks would be laid off when they installed MetroCard machines. (The MTA laid off of 600 clerks and closed 184 booths in 2009 and 2010.)

It's gotten so bad that a City Councilman told his wife to duck under the turnstiles when a subway station's MetroCard machines were broken. The city, of course, said his wife should have walked -- or maybe taken a taxi? -- to the next station rather than "steal" from the MTA.

Back at the Brooklyn Heights branch library, one library patron mused about the new machines. "I wonder if they will break eventually? If one goes down it’s a one-shot deal.”

And an old-time librarian told the Brooklyn Eagle what nobody else would say: “They’re not hiring any new librarians."

- Self-checkout machines spread to more Brooklyn libraries Brooklyn Eagle

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Anonymous said...

No clerks or librarians laid off? That is not what I have heard speaking to workers at different branches. These machines are terrible, human contact is the best.

Anonymous said...

For 10 years the same woman greeted my daughter at the checkout desk, suggested books, asked her how she was doing in school and generally made the library visit great. Now she is nowhere in sight.