03/08/2012 -Cheshire Libraries continue to improve and promote public self-service


The creation of the two unitary authorities for east and west Cheshire back in 2009 was part of a full strategic restructure and designed to bring substantial cost savings.

Each respective authority now managing branches in each of the two geographical areas of Cheshire West & Chester and Cheshire East is backed by central services support for the library systems and bibliographic resources.

Cheshire Libraries People's Network offering library users with internet access, email, and a range of learning and office resources on library PCs spanning across 39 library branches across the whole of Cheshire providing residents and guests with a vast array of customer services from any of these service points.   

As a forward thinking library service, Cheshire had previously implemented self-service facilities within some of its libraries and realised the benefits this offered to its public customers and indeed the staff.  The unitary restructure created capital funding which helped progress their self-service plans allowing them to extend these facilities across more of the libraries within each of the two authorities.

The introduction of RFID self-issue terminals and the iCAM i-Kiosks supplied by Insight Media has helped transform the library service and resulted in improved public facilities and freeing up staff time to focus on better quality and enhanced library services.

The i-Kiosk offers customers the following self-service benefits: -


Insight Media implemented the first two i-Kiosk’s in Sandbach and Nantwich libraries early in 2010 and this was the start of a new phase of Cheshire’s Peoples Network improvement programme allowing public users to manage and pay for their printing.

The introduction of these new kiosks proved to be very popular with customers and saved a substantial amount of staff time not having to deal with taking money and releasing print jobs.   In fact the service was deemed so successful that Cheshire has rolled out a further batch of 16 more i–Kiosks throughout 2011-2012 enabling this enriched service in eighteen libraries across both the east and west regions.

The benefits of the i-Kiosk are demonstrable and using Chester Library as an example, the number of staff bookings compared to i-Kiosk bookings shows that the public have really embraced the self-service facilities now on offer.  With staff bookings of 4535 (29%) and i-Kiosk bookings at 10885 (71%) this illustrates that two out of three library users are happily using the i-Kiosk and helping themselves. 

Across the whole of Cheshire early analyse is showing a great take up of the i-Kiosks with over 95,000 transactions being recorded to date and of these we can identify that this represents over 20,000 unique public users. 

Lesley Speed – Cheshire’s Systems Librarian mentioned ‘On a rare occasion we had to revert back to the old manual procedure for a short while, staff had forgotten how much work was involved in dealing with the PC bookings and payment for printing, the i-Kiosk really saves staff time and allows us to focus on better customer service.

Cheshire’s statistics showing the number of PC bookings and printing of documents via the i-Kiosk by members of the public reinforces their decision was the right way to go in enhancing their self-service facilities.

Insight Media believes this clearly demonstrates the effective good use of self-service technology and our i-Kiosk solution to Cheshire and many other library authorities certainly looks to make life easier for both public and staff users.  

If you would like more information or interested in a demonstration of the software then please contact us on:

Tel: 0844 335 6350

Email: info@insight-media.co.uk