New self-service hours begin July 28
By Sam Catanzaro
The Ocean Park branch of the Santa Monica Public Library is set to reopen later this month with a new self-service model.
The public can now register for the Santa Monica Public Library’s new self-service hours that allow users to pick up items from the storeroom and access materials and resources by swiping their library card at the branch. of Ocean Park. The new service will launch on July 28, 2021. Community members with pre-approved access will be able to access the branch on Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
“We know our patrons are eager to return to the library and we are excited to expand access to our collections through self-service hours made possible through this grant-funded technology,” said the director. from the library, Patty Wong. “There is more to look forward to in the fall with expanded in-person hours of operation and youth services. We hope to see more familiar faces in our branches! »
Library patrons who complete and sign the self-service hours application and agreement and agree to library policies can scan their Santa Monica Public Library card at the entrance to access the branch of Ocean Park. The technology will allow patrons to access library collections, space and services through the controlled self-service model that requires limited staff resources.
The program comes after this spring when the Santa Monica Public Library was selected to participate in a grant awarded by the California State Library in partnership with Bibliotheca, LLC. The grant will allow for the installation of new technology at the Ocean Park branch library.
The program comes as the city faces a budget shortfall caused by pandemic-related revenue loss and unfunded pension liabilities. In budget cuts of more than $200 million last year, the public library system lost $4.5 million in funding, 65 library staff lost their jobs under the cuts while Fairview and Ocean Park branches were temporarily closed.
The Ocean Park branch library will be the only location in Santa Monica equipped with the technology. According to the city, this technology has been used throughout Europe for years as well as in the Ventura County Library system, and will soon be used by nine other libraries thanks to a grant from the California State Library.
The system will operate through a self-service model providing controlled access to the library and security cameras. According to the City, the video will be kept for at least 30 days and stored locally according to security standards which will be clearly indicated to all customers who sign the agreement to participate in the program.
“Through the use of controlled access gates and automated people counting at the entrances, the system will be able to control the number of occupants allowed into the library at any given time to browse the collection, computers and printing, and use self-checkouts. Security is of the utmost importance to this service and will require customers opting into the program to sign an agreement which includes acceptance of the agreement and recording by security cameras as required by the City, how report any emergencies and set expectations regarding the limited staffing model of Ocean Park’s self-service hours,” said Senior Librarian Greco Venegas.
For more information about hours and services offered at each Santa Monica Public Library location, visit smpl.org/reopening.