Monroe, Camano Island customers can get their holds 24/7

Sno-Isle Libraries customers now have the option to pick up holds whenever they want, 24 hours a day, using secure Express Lockers at the Monroe and Camano Island community libraries.

“Sno-Isle Libraries continues to look for new and innovative ways to deliver service to our community,” said Rebecca Loney, Sno-Isle Libraries Director of Public Services.

Express Lockers are outside, so customers who opt to use them can pick up their holds outside library building operating hours. Customers can request their holds be placed in an Express Locker for pick up, rather than on a shelf inside the library. When the hold is ready, customers can pick up their items using a self-service touchscreen built into the Express Locker module.

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Cutting the ribbon to officially open the Monroe Library Express Lockers are (from left) Bella Richardson, Library Manager Phil Spirito, Snohomish County Councilmember Sam Low, Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Lois Langer Thompson and Sno-Isle Libraries Acting Director of Technical Services Nick Fuchs.

“We understand that circumstances can make it difficult for some customers to borrow physical materials given people’s busy schedules and their reactions to the current coronavirus climate,” said Casey Gabehart, Information Technology Enterprise Systems Manager for Sno-Isle Libraries. “We believe that creating additional self-service opportunities to pick up physical materials will benefit existing customers and will attract new ones.”

If the Express Locker project works as well as the team hopes, it could lead to new service models for Sno-Isle Libraries.

“We also believe that the benefits of an Express Locker system will allow us continued flexibility to adapt to a changing library landscape,” said Nick Fuchs, Sno-Isle Libraries Acting Director of Technical Services. “This could include creating a presence in communities where we don’t have a library building or the existing library is not adequately sized.”

Monroe has 90 lockers and Camano Island has 34 lockers. The lockers are located at the front entries of each library.

“This is an important service for our community,” Monroe Library Manager Phil Spirito said.

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Bella Richardson picks up her holds from the Monroe Library Express Lockers.

Bella Richardson, 11, was the first customer to pick up holds from the Monroe Library Express Lockers. She and her mother said they plan to use the lockers for those busy days when they can't get to the library before it closes.

"I like having these lockers because all you have to do is press the button and 'Pop!' It's open," Bella said.

Express Lockers were just as well received at the Camano Island Library.

“The staff here is so excited to offer these lockers,” Camano Island Library Manager Kelli Bragg said as she watched the installation.

Customer Joyce Lewis was the first customer to inaugurate the Express Lockers. She said she's checked out more than 4,000 items since moving to Camano Island in 2008 and plans to use the Express Lockers frequently.

"I will because there've been many times that I don't want to make a trip down here (to the library), but I could do it on the way home from something else when the library is already closed," Lewis said. "This will be really convenient for me."

See more photos of the Monroe Library and Camano Island Library Express Lockers ribbon cutting ceremonies online at Flickr.

Watch the Sno-Isle Libraries YouTube channel to see the ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Monroe Express Lockers and the Camano Island Express Lockers.

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