A Proposal to Study Public Library Borrowers' Experiences With
& Attitudes Toward Self-Checkout Systems

Student Showcase | SLIS | University of Alberta

Definitions

borrower:
An adult library patron 18 years or older who checks out books and other materials from a public library. (An adult would be determined by the age of majority of the province in which the study is taking place)

checked out:
The circulation status of an item that has been charged to a borrower account and is not due back in the library until the end of the loan period. (Reitz 2004)

circulation desk:
The service point at which books and other materials are check in and out of a library, usually a long counter located near the entrance or exit, which may include a built-in book drop for returning borrowed materials. In small and medium-sized libraries, items on hold or reserve are usually available at the circulation desk, which is normally staffed by one or more persons trained to operate the circulation system and handle patron accounts. Synonymous with loan desk. (Reitz 2004)

self-checkout:
An automated circulation system that allows registered borrowers to check out circulating materials on their own without the assistance of library staff, usually by means of barcodes attached to the item and appearing on the patron's library card. (Reitz 2004)

self-checkout user:
Borrowers who identify themselves as using the self-checkout the majority of the time they checkout materials from the library; they see themselves as using the self-checkout more than the traditional circulation desk for checking out materials.

traditional user:
Borrowers who identify themselves as using the traditional circulation desk the majority of the time they checkout materials from the library; they see themselves as using the traditional circulation desk more than the self-checkout for checking out materials.



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