The Open+ system will launch June 20 at GCPL's Lawrenceville branch, located at 1001 Lawrenceville Highway. (Special photo)

Gwinnett library branch first in North America to offer 'self-access'

One branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library will soon offer "self-service access" — meaning customers can get in, do their business and get out before the library actually opens. 

It will be the first branch in North America to offer such a service, library officials said. 

The Open+ system will launch June 20 at GCPL's Lawrenceville branch, located at 1001 Lawrenceville Highway. It will allow customers who are 18 or older and "in good standing" to access the branch all by themselves between 8 and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. The branch doesn't officially open until 10 a.m.

Users will insert their library card into a reader and use a pin number to gain access.

According to a news release from the library:

"Open+, a system developed by Norcross-based technology supplier Bibliotheca, is a complete solution that automatically controls and monitors building access, self-service kiosks, public access computers, lighting, alarms, public announcements and patron safety. Security cameras will monitor the use of the facility."

Those interested can register at any Gwinnett County Public Library branch and pay a $5 fee. 

The new program is part of the library's push toward more advanced technology. Last month, all 15 GCPL branches closed for a week for substantial technology upgrades, including self-checkout kiosks and library staff providing assistance with iPads and mobile computing stations.

“Our number one goal is to increase community access to the resources and collections of the library for our citizens," GCPL Executive Director Charles Pace said in an emailed statement. "Open+ will allow us to go beyond what libraries have traditionally offered in terms of service to our community."

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