Headlines: April 11th, 2001

Library queues have been banished from the Allerton Library in Liverpool with the introduction of a computer which replaces people behind the desk. To issue or renew books, borrowers swipe their library card, press a button and are issued with a receipt which provides the title of the book, and the date it is due back. To return books, customers swipe their card, press another button and drop the books into the letterbox which is placed under the unit. A new lower desk has been introduced for use by children, the disabled and wheelchair users.Borrowers have found the automated routine easy to use and responded positively to the new system. As well as reducing waiting times, staff are now more readily available to help with queries and advice.

Liverpool became the first public library authority to use new 3M software which eradicates the need for customers to wait for staff to become available.