Monday, March 9, 2015
Whether you’ve made a special request or you’re moving up on that waiting list, we will make sure you get your holds. Nearby branches such as Long Branch, Wheaton, and White Oak, of course, will remain open. Holds can be sent to one of them or to any MCPL branch you choose.
One easy way to make that happen is to go online to Your Account on the Library Homepage. Just enter your card number and pin number (the four numbers of the year of your birth, usually) and change the library location of your holds to a convenient alternative branch. You can ask any Silver Spring staff member for help. Customers can also call Ask-a-Librarian at 240-777-0001 to request hold pick up location changes. Beginning March 2, Silver Spring will not be available as a location when placing new holds.
Marina and OCLC holds will be diverted to other branches beginning March 2. Filled orders will be sent to the Silver Spring Library through March 6. After March 6, when interlibrary loan materials are received at MCPL, our ILL staff will contact customers to determine the branch where customers would like to pick up their items.
Although the branch will be closed, our 24-hour book drop will remain open for returns until April 5. We look forward to seeing old and new customers at our new library.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
In preparation for opening the new Silver Spring Library, the current library will close to the public on Sunday, March 15 at 5 p.m. The branch will be open from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. that day and will host a closing event for the Silver Spring community from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., commemorating 58 years of library service at the 8901 Colesville Rd. location.
More information on the closing.
More information on the closing.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
|Holds lockers at the new library.|
Photo courtesy of Chris Borawski
Imagine, it is very early in the morning; you are on your way to catch the train, Starbucks coffee in hand. As you pass the library you remember that you have received an email notice that the latest book, Girl On The Train, is ready for pick-up in the hold Locker. "Hooray!" you think. You walk towards the locker, slip in your library card, the locker opens, you retrieve your material and hurry to the train.
Customers both on foot and in cars will have 24/7 access to Holds. Access to the Hold Lockers is available by car through a small drive-way that you enter off Bonifant St. Once you insert your library card the latch is released, and the SIP Interface checks-out the item to you as you pull it from the locker.
Fast turnaround is crucial to the success of the service. With space for only 55 lockers, we will want materials to be picked up in a timely fashion. The hold notice will give you the range of dates for pick up. When you return the materials, the book return slot located between the hold Lockers will check-in the items immediately. This is great news for those of us on challenging schedules, needing instant results. I think you will enjoy this new feature, and it seems perfect for downtown Silver Spring.
Friday, January 23, 2015
I will often tell people that the staff is busy getting ready to move. I can tell by the look on their faces that “move” to them means packing boxes and carting those boxes off to the new library. What it does mean these days is that the staff is tagging the collection. Many of you already know the new library will have an automated check-in and sorting system on the first and third floors. It is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology that allows this sorting to take place. RFID technology enables staff to know if a book is checked out or simply lost in the building. There will be gates on the first floor at the Wayne Street and Fenton Street entrances. Those gates will alarm if someone has forgotten to check out. Should this happen we will invite them to return to the self-checkout station.
The check-in process is totally automated. The RFID tags are attached to the book, DVD or other piece of material and placed on a pad connected to a PC. The bar code on the items and the tag are linked together and entered into the computer. The books are returned through an opening where they are put on a conveyor belt, checked –in by a computer and sorted into a tub for shelving.
The 2” x 2” tag is a small but important feature of RFID. For the first shipment we received 100,000 tags. Forty-thousand were sent to the processor for the opening day collection. The other 60,000 were left with us to put in each piece of library materials. We started in early summer and we have 3,000 left from the original shipment to apply to materials. We recently received another shipment of 40,000 tags and are busy getting ready to apply those tags.
It is a tedious job that takes time. Volunteers cut the tags and staff places the tags in materials. We have boxes of cut tags stored in the manager’s office. Right now we count the number of tags that we place in materials just to give us a count of the collection and see how closely that mirrors what we know to be the size of the collection. But the beauty is you will now be able to checkout more efficiently by simply placing a stack of books, up to fifty, on the pad and they will be checked-out instantly.
While there is always an adjustment period, once customers and staff become acclimated to this technology, I predict we will enjoy the many benefits it offers.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
The technology in the new Silver Spring Library is going to be one of the outstanding features of the building. As you approach the building, a large digital sign at the
entrance will identify the building and announce upcoming events. Of course, WIFI will be in the new building
but a commercial grade router will improve response time and stability. We expect WIFI users will notice the
On the third floor, the main library entrance, you will find the Digital Media Lab equipped with MACs and PCs with the latest software, set up to allow you to create and expand your learning experiences. While I am not able to name specific software or hardware choices; I know that those customers interested in digital photography will be pleased to find Photoshop and Adobe LightRoom for creating beautiful projects.
We also plan to have a Tech Bar where we will demonstrate the various devices the library carries and to feature any new technologies in the marketplace. For example, if a customer needs help using the library’s free e-books, they can visit the Tech Bar, which will be equipped with comfortable seats, see a device demonstration, and ask questions in a supported environment.
The internal square footage of the library space is 60,000 square feet, three times our current size. Staff will use a product called Vocera to maintain communication across all three floors. As staff walk around and interact with customers, the Vocera voice recognition device will allow them to alert colleagues on other floors when assistance is needed.
The catalog computers customers use to locate materials will be touch screens. Customers looking for DVD movies will use the DVD media boxes on the third floor where there will be several boxes for dispensing these popular materials.
I am always available to answer questions that come up about the new library.