World-first library app makes borrowing a breeze

Article image - World-first library app makes borrowing a breeze Library app is an example of libraries’ evolving use of technology.

City of Yarra, Victoria, has introduced a world-first library borrowing app that lets members scan their item and walk straight out – no queues, no checkouts, and no security alarm.

Borrowing is now as easy as taking a photo with a smartphone or tablet, with the Yarra Libraries iOS and Android app.

The app lets users self-checkout library items from one of Yarra Libraries’ five locations, as well as see everything they’ve borrowed at a glance, and book events and rooms.

Unlike other library apps that still require members to scan their item again on a separate device, the Yarra Libraries app disables the security alarm as soon as the item is checked out.

The Yarra Libraries app also includes a world-first integrated bookshelf that lets members see everything they’ve borrowed at a glance, whether physical or digital, without being redirected to external platforms. This includes ebooks, digital magazines and audiobooks.

The new app is an example of the way Yarra Libraries is evolving to help people discover learn, connect and collaborate through technology.

Mayor, Misha Coleman, said, “Yarra Libraries is always looking at innovative ways of making it easier for our residents to use our libraries.

“For busy residents, this app is a game-changer. 

“I love how easy it is for someone to drop in, pick up a good book and check it out from their phone. It’s so easy and really streamlines the borrowing experience.

“Digital technologies, smartphones and apps are an everyday part of life. 

“We have many library users keen to improve their skills and discover new technologies, who will appreciate how easy this app is to use.”

The app’s new events management feature allows members to browse and register for local events using only their library card. Members can be added to a waitlist for sold-out events, and automatically be added when space is free.

The app also allows members to reserve the highly sought-after study spaces at Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library, letting members see room availability in real-time.

Yarra Libraries partnered with library technology provider Communico to deliver the Yarra Libraries app.