Express machines planned for library

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

The Bonney Lake branch of the Pierce County Library is about to get a new look and a new checkout system.

According to Mary Getchell, marketing and communications manager for the Pierce County Library, the Bonney Lake branch will undergo a remodel about mid-summer.

Three express checkout machines will be added to the branch, allowing people to check out books and pick up materials "on hold" themselves.

Getchell said the system's Key Peninsula branch started using its express machines this month.

"The response has been very positive," Getchell said. "Over 80 percent of the patrons use the machines."

According to Jill Cartwright, a librarian at the Bonney Lake branch, the machines will be similar to self-service machines in the grocery stores.

"People can pick up their own books on hold and check out items at the machines," Cartwright said. "But they won't be able to pay fines. For that, they will have to speak to a librarian."

Linda Bembenek, Bonney Lake branch manager, said two of the existing checkout terminals will be converted into a horseshoe area for books on hold and the express machines.

The terminal closest to the door will remain and a librarian will be available for patrons.

According to Getchell, there are 17 Pierce County libraries and within the next year, nine of the branches will install express machines, including the Sumner branch.

Getchell said Bonney Lake will also feature a Books To Go kiosk for publications in high demand.

"Recent bestsellers will be offered," Getchell said. "Books in Oprah's Book Club, whatever was on the bestseller list last year. At the Peninsula Library, 1,200 books were on the kiosk and 800 were checked out the first day."

Getchell said the Bonney Lake Library will be closed for about two weeks for the remodel.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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