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The rise of self-service

Updated: May 25, 2022

What are your library’s priorities for the next 12–24 months:

Increase footfall back to and above pre-pandemic levels?

Re-introduce a full programme of face-to-face events?

Introduce new initiatives to support digital inclusion?

Increase revenue from printing services?

Introduce Wi-Fi printing to encourage new visitors and members?

From speaking to our customers, we know that these are some of the areas libraries are currently focussing on. The past two years have presented many challenges but have also offered an opportunity to try new ways of delivering library services and reflect on how to take the service forward.

Self-service is something many libraries are looking to introduce or increase and this can support many of the priorities mentioned above, by freeing up staff from tasks such as checking books in and out, booking PC sessions, and taking payment for printing. Self-service is also enabling libraries to extend their opening hours by offering staffless sessions where visitors can access services using their library card and self-service kiosks.

Insight Media’s suite of iCAM products have been carefully developed to integrate seamlessly with self-service technology so that libraries can choose to implement iCAM on their existing kiosks. Our self-service kiosk software integrates with iCAM Workstation Control, iCAM Printer Control and a choice of third-party kiosk hardware to allow the public to manage their own PC bookings, release print jobs, and make payments via a self-service kiosk. With iCAM Wireless Cloud Print, users can even print from home or in the library on their own device, then pay for and collect the print at a self-service kiosk.

We work with the main UK RFID self-service kiosk public library suppliers (2CQR, Bibliotheca and D-Tech) to provide integration of mutual products. This provides additional enhanced self-service benefits and options to public users and frees up library staff for other tasks, offering greater service efficiencies.

Self-service kiosks cannot replace staff but can certainly offer a complementary service for people who are comfortable with the technology.

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