Press Release: Bibliotheca [November 9, 2018]

Forward-thinking libraries meet in Hamilton, Ontario to discuss the future of library service and extending access with bibliotheca’s open+

Oakdale, Minnesota – November 8, 2018 – Last month, Hamilton Public Library in Ontario, Canada, welcomed more than 30 library directors and management team members from 17 different Canadian library systems to participate in an open house focusing on its successful implementation of bibliotheca’s open+ library solution. Hamilton Public Library is the first Canadian library system to use the solution, which has been popular in Europe for a decade.

open+ is a comprehensive system that allows libraries to extend access and increase open hours. Designed to complement traditional staffed hours, open+ offers libraries the ability to control building access, security, announcements and more from a remote central hub – all while integrating fully with libraries’ existing ILS.

Hamilton Public Library first installed open+ in its Freelton branch to extend limited open hours and provide the rural community with improved access to the library’s space, materials and resources. Using open+, the Freelton branch increased its hours from just 17 to 60 per week, resulting in a 100% increase in library use compared to the same time last year. Due to the success of the first installation, Hamilton Public Library decided to install open+ at the Lynden branch, another location that serves a rural community.

“We’re using innovation and technology to add hours to best meet our rural communities’ needs. open+ allows us to think differently about opening new branches and the ROI on smaller, rural locations,” explains Paul Takala, CEO and Chief Librarian, Hamilton Public Library.

The open house, held at Hamilton Public Library’s Central Library featured presentations from library management and IT staff members, as well as a Q & A session with those involved in the implementation of open+ at the two branches. Members of the bibliotheca team provided high-level overviews of the solution to help attendees generate ideas about how open+ can enhance the library experience and meet community needs.

In the afternoon, participants boarded a charter bus and toured the two rural open+ library branches to see the open+ in action. Reporter Diana Weeks of CHCH covered the event. Video coverage is available here.

“Just as Hamilton Public Library has shown, open+ is a perfect way to extend access to library spaces and self-service resources within smaller and rural communities throughout North America. With a library in every town, being able to extend and provide consistent open hours can help many people thrive and better contribute to their local communities,” says Matthew Bellamy, President Americas for bibliotheca.

“open+ is a technology that truly is a game changer. It’s not about cutting staff or services, it’s about enhancing and expanding service for users,” says Takala. “Our communities requested more time and resources from their Library and with open+, we were able to deliver.”

About Hamilton Public Library

The Hamilton Public Library is a vibrant hub for information and culture, providing our diverse community the Freedom to Discover. As one of the largest library systems in Canada, Hamiltonians will discover something new at our 22 locations, two bookmobiles, or through our extensive digital collections. Visit us online at Like us on Facebook at HamiltonPublicLibrary. Follow us on Twitter @hamiltonlibrary.

About bibliotheca

bibliotheca is dedicated to the development of solutions that help libraries connect with users in unique ways and provide engaging experiences, allowing them to continually evolve their library services for the changing needs of their communities. Their products are designed to provide a welcoming, intuitive and seamless environment for those that use the library – wherever they choose to use it – be that at home, on the move or within the library itself.

With over 30,000 libraries as part of their family, they have installed and continue to support more than 10,000 self-service units, 6,000 security systems and over 650 Automated Materials Handling (sorter) systems. In addition, the cloudLibrary digital platform powers eBook and eAudiobook lending at 3,000 libraries.