An innovative new self-service library pod at Karalee Shopping Village is proving to be a real page-turner with Ipswich readers.
The pod opened in early October with 163 books borrowed in its first week of operation.
Interest has grown significantly since then, with 236 books loaned in the last week of October – a 45 per cent increase on the number borrowed in the first week of the month.
Since opening on the 4th of October, the Pod has handled 2,195 customer transactions including 359 book reservations, 1,333 loans and 1,506 books returned.
Ipswich City Council Community, Cultural and Economic Development Department general manager Ben Pole welcomed the results.
“Ipswich Libraries is a leader in finding innovative ways to connect the community with the city’s libraries,” he said.
“The self-service library pod at Karalee is a first of its kind and an extension of Ipswich Libraries’ successful Market Place collection model.”
The Market Place model includes presenting a curated collection of books in a retail-style display – front cover out instead of spine-out – and has been a big success at the city’s libraries.
The Karalee pod offers various popular and trending books in self-serve cabinets.
It also has a large touchscreen where customers can browse e-books, e-magazines and downloadable audio content and borrow immediately.
The pod can also be used to collect library items reserved online and to return pod books.
“These kinds of initiatives are about meeting changing community expectations and delivering more opportunities for residents to borrow library items when they want and how they want,” Mr Pole said.
Children’s book Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey was the most borrowed book from the Karalee pod in October.
The pod is at Karalee Shopping Village, outside the Coles supermarket, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.