Ballyroan Library, a stunning €4.0m redevelopment in South Dublin, features custom-made self-service RFID Totems and Nedap security gates, supplied and installed by 2CQR. The five RFID Totem units, which permit customers to borrow, return and pay any charges are in a unique, pearlescent finish to complement the library’s colour scheme. Within weeks of opening these units were handling 70% of library transactions and now , several months later, a steady 87%.
Ballyroan Library originally opened in 1986 and since then has been one of South Dublin’s busiest libraries in terms of issues. As the design of the original library did not allow for easy extension the decision was made to demolish it and rebuild a 21stcentury library in its place. In the new library the floor area practically doubled from 755 sq.mtrs to 1434 sq. mtrs.
Staff and service issues
The heavy demand on staff time often confined them to routine desk duties so when the decision was made to rebuild the library, in order to ensure sustainability in the operation, it was decided to change routine tasks such as issuing and discharging stock, booking computers and dealing with public access printing and photocopying to self-service. This would help to ensure that a busier library with an increased floor space could operate on the same number of staff who would then be freer to assist customers and serve their information needs.
Since opening the self-service figures for issuing, discharging, payments and renewals have been at a steady 87% of all transactions. There were fears that as the library serves an older population that this level of self-service would not be achievable. However all customers seem to have adapted easily to self-service.
Previous experience has shown that it is most effective to introduce self-service technologies as part of a redevelopment or a new service and this certainly seems to have been the case as the high levels of self-service have proven.
“WELCOME is the word which underpins this library – it is a welcoming and accessible space for people of all ages.”Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Councillor Cathal King
The architecture of the new library is not only visually impressive but creates age and function specific areas with pockets of interest and clever use of natural and artificial light. With both peer and public approval it has been nominated for an Irish Architectural Award 2013.
2CQR worked closely with the architects to deliver security systems that were effective yet unobtrusive and self-service units designed to have the correct balance of impact to draw users attention whilst blending into the overall scheme.
“The vision for the building provided for an open inclusive place where people can gather, share ideas with each other, and experience the best in contemporary literature, information access and culture. Working collaboratively, and delivering a sense of excitement and possibilities Box Architecture surpassed our expectations and have delivered a beautiful and functionally contemporary public library building”
For architectural reviews see:
The Sunday Times Architectural Review “Small but beautifully formed” 16/12/12