On November 29, 2018, over 20 forward-thinking library directors and management team members from across the southeast met at Gwinnett County Public Library's (GCPL) Suwanee branch in Georgia to discuss the role of innovative technology in library service.
In 2017, Charles Pace, Executive Library Director for Gwinnett County, received The Public Library Association's (PLA) John Iliff Award, a national award recognizing leader who have used technology and innovation to better meet the needs of their communities, for GCPL's implementation of bibliotheca's open+ solution.
open+ is a comprehensive solution designed to complement staffed hours and allow greater library access to patrons. open+ automatically controls and monitors building access, self-service kiosks, public access computers, lighting, alarms, public announcements and patron safety. GCPL became the first library in North America to offer the service when it launched open+ in the Lawrenceville branch in June of 2016.
The open house, which coincided with the official launch of open+ at the Suwanee branch, gave library leaders an opportunity to glean firsthand knowledge about the solution from GCPL as well as bibliotheca representatives.
"I was delighted to share our experience with other libraries," says Pace. "If you're looking to expand access to your collection, open+ is an excellent way to do it - our patrons call it VIP service."
The open house included a morning session with GCPL's library management featuring presentations and a Q & A session. The bibliotheca team provided a glimpse of future offerings and a high-level overview of the possibilities for communities afforded by open+. In the afternoon, attendees toured the Suwanee branch to see the solution in action.
"The team at Gwinnett County Public Library has been wonderful to partner with as we've gotten the open+ solution implemented in the North America. They have a vision for the future and understand how technology is a key factor to help them achieve their goals. As a user of the Suwanee Branch, I am personally most excited about the introduction of consistent and longer open library hours that complement my busy schedule. Not only did GCPL implement the first open+ library at their Lawrenceville Branch, but the addition at the Suwanee Branch is now also our largest open+ library in North America," says Scott Hackstadt, Director of open+ North America, bibliotheca.
About Gwinnett County Public Library
The award-winning Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) system was formed in 1996 after the dissolution of the Gwinnett-Forsyth Regional Library. For more than 20 years, GCPL has provided resources and services that enrich and inspire our community. The Library has 15 branches that offer free access to computers and Wi-Fi, classes, materials, and programming for people of all ages. In 2016, more than 5 million items were checked out at GCPL, more than any other library system in Georgia. In 2017, GCPL was recognized as a Top Workplace by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. For more information about Gwinnett County Public Library programs and services, visit gwinnettpl.org.
bibliotheca is dedicated to the development of solutions that help libraries connect with users in unique ways and provide engaging experiences, allowing them to continually evolve their library services for the changing needs of their communities. Their products are designed to provide a welcoming, intuitive, and seamless environment for those that use the library – wherever they choose to use it – be that at home, on the move, or within the library itself.
With over 30,000 library customers, bibliotheca has installed and continues to support more than 10,000 self-service units, 6,000 security systems, and over 650 Automated Materials Handling (sorter) systems. In addition, the cloudLibrary digital platform powers eBook and eAudiobook lending at 3,000 libraries.