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Self-service library kiosk, Source: City of Prague

Prague opens a self-service library in a shopping centre

Prague opens a self-service library in a shopping centre

The Czech capital claims that it is the first of its kind in the country

Today, the Czech City of Prague reported that the Municipal Library (MKP) has opened a completely self-service library kiosk in Černý Most Centre. According to the capital, the new kiosk is the first of its kind in the country and is the result of MKP’s work to introduce RFID technology to its services.

The library’s new self-service branch will have longer working hours, operating from 9 am to 9 pm every day. During these times, readers can sit in the 29-square-metre space, leaf through texts, and borrow or return books. At the moment, the kiosk has a collection featuring over 1,000 titles, which are predominantly adult fiction, children’s books, and popular science literature.

Librarians are still needed

Although one can enter the space, select a title, and borrow a book all on their own, they can still access support when they need it. More specifically, the City of Prague explains that the human element will still be necessary as librarians will need to look after the collection and the readers.

Nevertheless, they will not always be present on site as they will only work at the branch on Mondays from 1 pm to 5 pm. If one requires assistance outside of these hours, they can receive support online every weekday from 9 am to 7 pm or on Saturdays from 1 pm to 6 pm.

An unusual location

It is interesting to note that it was the shopping centre that approached the municipal library with a proposal for this project. Expanding on this, the manager of the Černý Most Center Michaela Matlasová explained:

“We are constantly trying to come up with new interesting services that will please our visitors, so this cooperation makes sense to us. We believe that this modern concept will attract readers and give them the opportunity to spend their free time meaningfully.”

Councillor for Culture Hana Třeštíková also commented on the branch’s location, sharing that in cultural society, books and reading are a natural part of life. As such, it should not be surprising to find a library inside a modern shopping centre.

View photographs of the self-service library in the gallery above.

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