The Ventura County Library has recently won two awards for the implementation of Open+ Express Hours at the Hill Road Library. Using innovative technology called Open+ by Bibliotheca, the Ventura County Library has expanded access to library services at the Hill Road Library during “Express Hours” by opening to the public before the library is officially staffed.
The two awards are from CA County Information Services Directors Association (CCISDA) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) and both recognize innovation in government.
CCISDA awarded Ventura County Library the 2018 Innovation Award for large counties: Business Process Re-Engineering Automation Category – Library Express Hours at the Hill Road Library.
CCISDA is the official organization of the county IT directors and CIO’s throughout the state of California. CCISDA represents all 58 California counties in the area of information technology and county government.
CSAC presented Ventura County Library with a Merit Award in their 2018 Challenge Awards, again for the “Library Express Hours” project at the Hill Road Library.
CSAC’s annual statewide program honors innovation and best practices in county government. Ventura County Library’s project was selected as one of 36 Merit awards out of 267 entries. An independent panel of judges with expertise in county programs selected the award recipients.
Hill Road Library is the newest of Ventura County Library’s branches, opening in December, 2017. It boasts being only the second library in the U.S. to use Open+ technology. The library is configured with self-service in mind, supplementing staffed services.
During Open+ Express Hours at Hill Road, customers can checkout laptops, use WIFI, meet and collaborate, checkout print and electronic collections, and use research materials.
Customers 18 and over in good standing may opt-in for “Express Service,” allowing access to self-services and the facility without staff assistance. To get started, they are given a short orientation from staff, reviewing entry points, services available, and the code of conduct.
With Hill Road’s morning Open+ Express Hours, the Library and the community enjoy a 30% increase in total hours of operation and services available at Hill Road Library.
“We are extremely happy to have been able to not only open a new library branch on the east side of Ventura, but to extend the hours of access to the community who values it so highly! … Open+ is making a real difference in the community and the level of access we can provide to library services,” says Nancy Schram, Ventura County Library Director.