Automated Systems Are Now an Operating Mini-branch of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

The public is invited to attend the official opening of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries’ (CVL) newest public service option – two automated library systems that will dispense books and allow for patrons to pick-up and return books from other system branches, all at a time that is convenient to them.

The 24-Hour Libraries (as they are being called by CVL) will be officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00am January 30, 2019. This will take place at the new Midland 24-Hour Library at 6600 Flat Rock Road, located adjacent to the Piano Perfect store. Refreshments will be served, a demonstration of the automated library’s capabilities will be given, and those without a current library card will be able to sign up at the event.

Also officially opening that date will be the Double Churches 24-Hour Library, located at 1241 Double Churches Road, near the Double Churches Middle School.

Each library will feature 300+ items of consisting of popular children’s, youth and adult fiction and non-fiction titles plus a selection of DVDs. In addition, library card holders may request items from CVL’s full service branches to be delivered for pick-up to the new locations, and they may return items for any system branch at either location.

The services are available to anyone with a current Chattahoochee Valley Libraries card. The cards are free to residents in Muscogee, Cusseta-Chattahoochee, Marion and Stewart counties in Georgia and are available for others to purchase for a $35 annual fee.

The 24-hour libraries are seen as a cost-effective way to bring some library services to Northeast and Northwest Columbus, two areas growing in population that aren’t currently served by a branch location. “It’s about making sure our materials are available for people where they want it and when they want it. We want to make our service more accessible to more people,” says CVL Library Director Alan Harkness.

24-hour automated libraries have been in use for over a decade, and CVL’s particular model has been used successfully by many Midwest libraries since 2013. The CVL units represent the first use of this technology in the state of Georgia and one of the first in the southeast United States.

Funding for the 24-hour Libraries was approved by the voters of Muscogee County through the 2015 eSPLOST referendum.