The Douglas County Libraries are retooling.
Why? Because the demand for our services is growing. We need to grow our ability to meet it, and there are some new tools we haven't had before.
So our retooling will begin with something called "self-check." Our first full-scale experiment will be at the Parker Library.
Right now, our very capable staff spends a lot of time doing simple tasks: scanning the barcodes on your library card and books, for instance.
I can't remember if I was 13 or 14. I do remember that I was playing a lot of chess.
Back then, a lad could wander downtown, stroll into the old library (the new library was a couple of blocks away) and face a series of old guys over a chessboard.
It was timed chess. When you made a move, you slapped the clock.
I fought my way to "expert" status. One of the people I played was a charming, near-bald, older gent with the uncharming name of Bevier Butts.
The Douglas County Libraries had the first website in Douglas County -- and one of the first library websites in the country.
One fairly recent addition is our branch-specific "blogs." From our website (www.douglascountylibraries.org) you'll see "Branch pages" on the leftmost column. These pages allow our staff to quickly post what's hot at the library that week.
Recently, we hired some consultants to come in and examine how we "handle materials."
That included everything from how we took requests, to how we ordered them, to how they were delivered, to how the invoices were checked, to how the items were cataloged, to how they were set up for checkout, and to how they made it out to the branches.
As I've mentioned in previous columns, we move a lot of materials.