Prague opens self-service library in shopping center

Prague opens self-service library in shopping center

The Czech capital claims it is the first of its kind in the country

Today the Czech city of Prague announced that the Municipal Library (MKP) has opened a fully-fledged library self-service library kiosk in the center of Černý Most. According to the capital, the new kiosk is the first of its kind in the country and is the result of MKP’s work to introduce RFID technology to his services.

The new self-service branch of the library will have longer working hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. During these periods, readers can sit in the 29 square meter space, leaf through texts, borrow or return books. For the moment, the kiosk has a collection of over 1,000 titleswhich are mostly adult fiction, children’s books, and popular science literature.

Librarians are always needed

While one can enter the space, select a title, and borrow a book on their own, one can still access support when needed. More specifically, the City of Prague explains that the human element will always be necessary because librarians will have to look after the collection and the readers.

However, they will not always be present on site because they will only work at the agency on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. If someone needs help outside of these hours, they can receive online support every weekday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

An unusual place

Interestingly, it was the mall that approached the city library with a proposal for this project. Expanding on this, the director of the Černý Most center, Michaela Matlasová, explained:

“We are constantly trying to come up with new and interesting services that will appeal to our visitors, so this cooperation makes sense for us. We believe this modern concept will attract readers and give them the opportunity to spend their free time in a meaningful way.

Councilor for Culture Hana Třeštíková also commented on the location of the branch, sharing that in the cultural society, books and reading are a natural part of life. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising to find a library inside a modern mall.

See photos of the self-service library in the gallery above.

Berta D. Wells