The smart cabinet of Novo mesto library, Source: Tomaž Grdin /

Novo mesto library awarded for digitized 24-hour book lending service

Novo mesto library awarded for digitized 24-hour book lending service

The smart cabinet is considered a novelty in the Slovenian and European library space

The Miran Jarc Library in Novo mesto has received an award for best project of 2021 from the Slovenian Public Libraries Association (ZSK).  

The prize, presented for nine years in a row, was awarded at the end of the Public Libraries Week in Slovenia. The winning project ‘Automation of the public library network of the Miran Jarc Library in Novo mesto: 24-hour loan service of pre-ordered printed material’ was given the maximum of points by the jury evaluating the entries. 

Novelty in the European library space 

Receiving the award, Luka Blažič, director of the Novo Mesto library, said, as quoted by the municipal website: “I am glad that the library professionals have acknowledged our vision of digitizing the public library network. The incorporation of our innovation into the Cobiss system allows any public library to start using our automated lending system immediately. I would like to thank the partners, the Institute of Information Sciences from Maribor and the Tenzor Group, which instantly appreciated the project’s capabilities."

The Mayor of Novo mesto Municipality, Gregor Macedoni, added: “In Novo Mesto, we have once again proved our leadership potential on a national scale and beyond. The project represents an important step on the path of digitalization, which the Municipality of Novo mesto is gradually introducing into its systems as part of the model of accessible smart city. 

I am pleased that the Public Libraries Association has recognized this innovative approach which incorporates state-of-the-art technology, local knowledge and design combined in a smart cabinet. Congratulations to the Miran Jarc Library, as other Slovenian and foreign libraries will certainly introduce pilot projects based on this invention.” 

Automated 24-hour lending of pre-ordered books is a novelty in the Slovenian and European library space. The system came to life in the Novo mesto library at the end of September 2021 after a one-year trial period. The new service is fast and non-dependent on library location and working hours, allowing users to download up to 6 pre-ordered books in a smart locker 24 hours a day. 

Expansion plans 

In the next five years, the Novo Mesto library wants to expand the network of smart cabinets across the municipality and to smaller localities deprived of local libraries. This strategy will contribute to better book accessibility and, simultaneously, to environmental sustainability, as it will translate into less time spent by users and fewer rides in polluting vehicles.



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