Oakdale, Minnesota – December 10, 2019 – Last month, LA County Library, one of the nation’s largest library systems, launched bibliotheca’s open access library solution, open+, at Avalon Library on Catalina Island. The installation is the first of three planned implementations of open+ across LA County Library.
“I’d been reading about open+ for a while and looking for a renovation project that would provide a good test case for LA County,” says Binh Le, Chief Information Officer at LA County Library. “I know open+ can be used to open up as much or little of a library as you choose, but I wanted our first installation to be used to allow patrons to access the entire library. Avalon Library fit the bill perfectly.”
open+ is a comprehensive solution designed to extend library service and complement staffed hours. Used in Europe for fifteen years and in place at more than 750 libraries around the globe, open+ allows all parts of the library from lights and security to public computers and self-checkout stations to be managed remotely, thereby providing patrons access to the library’s self-service resources even when a staff member cannot be onsite.
LA County Library has begun Phase 1 of their implementation at Avalon Library by offering extended open+ hours in the morning before regular staffed hours begin. Phase 2 will include extended evening hours, followed by Phase 3 by opening on days the library has historically been closed.
“Our goal is to experiment with this concept gradually, allowing our staff and customers to gain their level of comfort and trust along the way. Ideally, we want to gain as many added access hours as possible to create a consistent schedule for the community,” says Le.
Avalon Library is a small library at just over 1,200 square feet that gets very high usage per square foot. The implementation of open+ coincided with a renovation and refresh of the library intended to modernize the space and provide additional services.
“We’re thrilled to add LA County Library to the North American open+ library users. We’ve seen so much success and positive impact open+ can make at existing libraries, such as increased programming attendance, more satisfied community users and much longer and more consistent hours,” says Matthew Bellamy, President of the Americas at bibliotheca.
“We’re excited to open the newly renovated Avalon Library with open+ access. Card holders can now enjoy access to free Wi-Fi, study spaces, and a complete self-service experience before our staff open the library. We look forward to providing additional hours to library locations throughout Los Angeles County in the future,” says Skye Patrick, LA County Library Director.
To hear more about open+ at Avalon Library, a webinar can be accessed by following this link and registering for the recording.
About LA Public Library
Founded in 1912, LA County Library is one of the largest and most innovative library systems in the US. It offers free public resources including books, music, multimedia materials, computer and internet access, and educational and recreational services to 3.4 million residents through its 86 libraries and mobile fleet of 12 vehicles, including 3 Bookmobiles, 6 MākMō maker mobiles, and 3 Reading Machines. LA County Library is dedicated to reducing barriers and increasing access to and equity of public services for all. To learn more, visit LACountyLibrary.org and follow @LACountyLibrary on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.